Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Jeopardy!' Champion Donates Part of Winnings to Cancer Walk in Alex Trebek's Name


Famed “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has been making headlines since he announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis back in March.

Trebek has continued to work while seeking treatment and met with “Jeopardy!” contestant James Holzhauer, 35, who went on to win 32 games during a streak of wins from April to June.

Holzhauer, born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, donated $1,109.14 to the 2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk that is taking place on July 14. His donation amount matches the birth date of his daughter, Natasha.


On Holzhauer’s final appearance on “Jeopardy!” Trebek thanked Natasha for making him a “get well” card.

“I want to express my thanks to your beautiful little daughter, Natasha, for having made this get well card for me,” Trebek told Holzhauer, as mentioned by Yahoo Lifestyle. “That was very sweet of her.”

One of the many fans who had been watching Holzhauer’s winning streak was Naperville resident Ann Zediker.

Zediker lost her father to pancreatic cancer in 2010 and is a regular fundraiser and participant in the Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk.

“Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst cancers out there,” Zediker told the Chicago Tribune. “Most people aren’t diagnosed until the latter stages.”

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Oh a whim, Zediker sent an email to Holzhauer, inviting him to participate in this summer’s walk. The “Jeopardy!” star responded that he could not be in Naperville in July, but was happy to send a donation.

“My gut told me it was the right thing to do,” Zediker said of contacting Holzhauer. “It couldn’t hurt.”

In May, Trebek gave his fans an update on his health, sharing that some of his tumors had shrunk by 50 percent.

His body has been responding well to chemotherapy treatment, Trebek said, and according to People his doctors say his cancer is in “near remission.”

Since word got out about Holzhaur’s donation to the pancreatic cancer walk, others have followed suit, some donating in honor of Trebek, and others in honor of their own loved ones whose lives have been affected by the disease.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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