After battling stage IV pancreatic cancer for one year, Alex Trebek is looking forward to his milestone 80th birthday on Wednesday, July 22. “It’s going to be very small, which is just what he wants,” an insider tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. His wife, Jean Trebek, “has organized some Zoom chats with the kids and some very close friends.”
Everyone is expected to be on the call, including Alex’s longtime friend Pat Sajak, who is also the host of Wheel of Fortune. “There is no one I know who is stronger or more determined,” Pat once said of the Jeopardy! star after he revealed his cancer diagnosis. “I would never bet against him.”
Alex’s family has been standing by his side too. He shares his 30-year-old son, Matthew, and his 27-year-old daughter, Emily, with Jean and he’s also a father to his 54-year-old daughter, Nicky, whom he adopted during his first marriage to Elaine Kares.
“The support and love he gets from his family has been overwhelming,” the insider says. However, it wasn’t always that way. Since Alex “didn’t always do things right in the parenting department,” he’s had to make “amends” with his children and thankfully, “they’ve accepted it.”
“He knows he has their unconditional love now,” the source says of the TV personality who believes in “karma to an extent.” That’s why Alex tell others to be “good to your fellow man,” but at the end of the day, the Emmy winner simply wants to be remembered as something more than just your beloved game show host.
“I want to make a difference in the lives of people. And I can do that through charitable donations. I can do that through charitable work,” he explained after donating $500,000 to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in late June. But as he gets older, Alex has accepted the fact that someday his life will come to an end.
“I am not afraid of dying,” he once confided. “I’m nearing the end … I know that. So if it happens, it happens. And why should I be afraid of it?”
For more on Alex, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. for more exclusive news!