Alex Trebek moved almost to tears after 'Jeopardy!' contestant makes sweet gesture

The host, who has been fighting cancer, was touched by a contestant's surprise message in the final round.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Samantha Kubota

Longtime "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek was almost moved to tears after a contestant made a sweet gesture during the final moments of the show Monday night.

It happened during an episode of the annual Tournament of Champions.

Contestant Dhruv Gaur, who is a student at Brown University, was stumped during the Final Jeopardy question. So instead, he wrote “We love you, Alex,” along with a heart drawing.

After Trebek read the answer aloud, he struggled to maintain his composure.

“That’s very kind, thank you,” he said, before continuing on. The move cost Gaur $1,995.

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Trebek announced earlier this year he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Despite chemotherapy treatments that caused his hair to fall out and left him struggling to enunciate, the 79-year-old returned to host the 36th season of “Jeopardy!”

He recently spoke to Canada's CTV and said he was “hanging in.”

"We'll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose,” he said. “I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid of it?”

Immediately after Monday night’s heartfelt episode aired, #WeLoveYouAlex started trending on Twitter in a show of support for the beloved host.

“Alex Trebek getting choked up during Final Jeopardy today messed me all the way up,” @aneerbas tweeted.

“Okay, now I’m crying,” @tblugator said.

“Alex Trebek getting choked up at a heartfelt final jeopardy answer,” @Kelli96 said. “The instant welling up of tears and emotion no viewer expected to have tonight. What a moment.”

Gaur took to Twitter to explain his thought process behind the now-viral moment.

"...for context, Alex had just shared with us that he was reentering treatment for pancreatic cancer. We were all hurting for him so badly," he wrote late Monday night. "When Final Jeopardy came up, I could’ve tried to puzzle it together, but really, just kept thinking about Alex, and thought he should know."

"I’m just very grateful I got the opportunity to say what I know everyone was thinking," Gaur tweeted. "Sending all the love. #weloveyoualex"

The contestants still in the Tournament of Champions are encouraging fans to watch and play along Nov. 14-15. They say for every answer you get right, you should consider donating $1 to pancreatic cancer research.