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Jeopardy Host’s Cancer in Decline After Outpouring of Support

TV personality Alex Trebek is usually known for his authoritative game show host persona, a combination of newscaster gravitas and fact-based emotional detachment. But after Trebek announced his diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer, a deluge of public support rolled in. In a video, he offered thanks for “the hundreds of thousands of people who have sent emails, texts, tweets, and cards wishing me well regarding my health.”

In a subsequent video, he had good news to announce, claiming that his cancer was in “near remission,” and that his doctors “hadn’t seen this kind of positive results in their memory.” Trebek didn’t directly credit the public for his dramatic improvement in health. He also recognizes he has a steep road ahead; the five-year rate of survival for advanced pancreatic cancer is only 3%.

However, it seems as though well-wishes often have a positive effect on people with significant health struggles. Although, how much an effect is open to interpretation. Studies on the effect of prayer for those struggling with sickness have been mixed; some indicate measurably small health increases, some do not.

What is clear, is that even if the physical sickness is not affected, such positive message of support can be incredibly beneficial from an emotional standpoint. For those on the receiving end, they are reminded that they’re not alone, and that in and of itself can serve as a form of comfort.

Potential Preaching Angles: God is honored when we honor one another with our words, particularly when members of the body are sick or in need.

Richard Gunderman, “The Trebek effect: The benefits of well wishes” The Conversation (5-5-19)

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