Alex Trebek calls autistic superfan who wanted to wish him well



An Alex Trebek superfan got the surprise of his life when the “Jeopardy!” host gave him a call.

Debbie Stevens, a lung disease survivor from Brooklyn, arranged the phone call for her autistic son, Michael Kneeter, who learned about Trebek’s pancreatic cancer and wanted to wish him well.

“It wasn’t rushed,” Stevens told CNN of their heartfelt call. “He was really concerned and caring for Michael.”

The call was especially important to Kneeter because the 32-year-old lost his father to cancer 15 years ago, said mom Debbie, who survived pulmonary fibrosis.

“It was very heartwarming that under the circumstances Alex Trebek is going through, he was able to reach out to one of his biggest fans following his show for many years,” Kneeter’s sister Lisa Stevens told CNN.

Stevens says she tracked down Trebek’s son, Matthew, who owns a restaurant in Manhattan, and requested he ask his dad to call her son. She says she also sent a get-well-soon greeting card via certified mail saying “it would thrill my son” to chat with Alex.

Trebek called Kneeter a week and a half later on Oct. 18, but Stevens said she missed the phone call. However, the 79-year-old host left a voicemail for Kneeter, which said:

“This is a message for Michael. My name is Alex Trebek. It is Friday at about 6:00 your time. My son, Matthew, who has a restaurant in North Harlem, told me that you and your mom had been in contact and you’re fans of the show, and I just wanted to thank you for that, and I appreciate it. I hope you’re well.”

Trebek ended his call with a heartbreaking sign-off.

“Maybe someday, if you manage to get to Los Angeles, you could come to a taping of the program. That would be great. Hopefully I’ll still be around hosting it. OK. You take care,” he said.

After missing the call, Stevens says she called Matthew back and he offered to text his father on her behalf.

Trebek then called a second time and Stevens says he spoke with Kneeter for seven minutes. Kneeter discussed his hobbies, which include bowling, with Trebek, and mentioned he once saw a taping of “Jeopardy” in 1999 at Madison Square Garden.

Of course, Kneeter got to wish Trebek well, and Trebek said he’s still fighting amid his cancer battle.

Trebek also spoke about the call with CNN, saying he’s always happy to talk to a fan, especially when they have special needs.

“I get these kinds of calls quite often now, where somebody who has special needs feels that they would be helped by talking to me, and it’s no great imposition on me, to tell you the truth,” Trebek tells CNN. “If I’m in a position to do it, I do. They’re looking for some kind of reassurance I think, and if I can provide that I’m happy to do it. The message I try to get across to all of them is, let’s agree to be survivors against whatever ailment is afflicting us.”

As for his health, the “Jeopardy” host tells CNN he’s “hanging in,” and will continue to host the show despite admitting his skills have “started to diminish.”

“Oh yeah, still doing my thing.”



Source link

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

Related Posts