Avi Gupta could have done anything with his $100,000 Jeopardy! winnings, but he chose to donate $10,000 to Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute to honor host Alex Trebek—a man Gupta considers his “role model.”
“This is in honor of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek,” said Gupta, referring to Trebek’s battle with pancreatic cancer.
“I hope it makes a difference.”
Trebek has been part of Avi’s life for as long as he can remember — an inspiration and a role model.
“I think growing up and watching Jeopardy! shaped the curiosity in me,” he said. “Alex Trebek was someone who always consistently stood for the importance of facts and knowledge.”
“When I heard of his diagnosis, I was devastated. Not because I knew him personally, but because he’s played a big role in my life and the lives of millions of Americans.”
Gupta, who is a freshman at Columbia University, won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. He hopes his donation, which is a nod to mathematical constant Pi, will help promote research for early detection.
“Everyone knows someone or has been affected by cancer in some way,” Gupta said. “I believe scientists are winning the fight against cancer, we just need to help them to do more.”
On his Twitter account, Gupta urged others to donate.
“This #PancreaticCancerAwarenessMonth, join us in the fight to #EndCancer. Working with Alex on @Jeopardy was an honor, and I hope the #Jeopardy community will join me in honoring him,” he wrote.
This #PancreaticCancerAwarenessMonth, join us in the fight to #EndCancer. Working with Alex on @Jeopardy was an honor, and I hope the #Jeopardy community will join me in honoring him. #InspiredBy https://t.co/ZOloI3vzwO— Avi Gupta (@avigupta33) November 2, 2019
Director of the Knight Cancer Institute Dr. Brian Druker was so inspired by Gupta’s donation that he and his wife pledged to match it.
“What a remarkable young man and what a great gesture,” said Druker. “We hope it inspires lots and lots more people.”