Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is praising his wife, Jean Currivan, for staying strong and remaining by his side amid his ongoing battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the 78-year-old game show host opened up about the impact his recent cancer diagnosis has had on Currivan, whom he married in 1990, and expressed his gratitude for caregivers.
“Jeannie is wonderful,” Trebek told the outlet. “She cried of course this morning when she got the [good] news [about my tumors shrinking]. But it’s been a lot. It’s a lot of pressure.”
“My heart goes out to caregivers,” he continued. “Because they have to deal with their loved ones suffering and they also don’t always know how to help because there’s not much they can do, except try to make you feel more comfortable, at ease and not worry about ordinary stuff. They’ve also got to be strong and not allow their mate not to feel like they’re downhearted too.”
In addition to Currivan, Trebek is supported by his two children, Matthew, 28, and Emily, 25, whom have maintained an optimistic outlook on their father’s prognosis.
“They look at me as Mr. Strong,” Trebek said. “They think, if anybody’s going to beat this, dad will. They’re very positive, and until I demonstrate otherwise, they’re going to continue in that vein.”
Trebek, who has hosted Jeopardy! since 1984, had announced on March 6 via video shot from the game show's stage that he is battling pancreatic cancer, a form of the disease that carries just a nine percent chance of survival.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," he said at the time. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."
After months of extensive treatment, including several rounds of chemotherapy that have given him “surges of deep, deep sadness,” the 78-year-old has revealed that he is now in “near remission.”
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory…some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
As fans have gathered around him to send their support and well-wishes, Trebek has promised to maintain his long-standing position on Jeopardy!, even returning to film the game show just days after announcing his diagnosis. The 78-year-old has also renewed his contract for an additional three years, meaning that he will remain host until at least 2022.