A New York mother planned the best surprised for her “Jeopardy!” superfan son. Alex Trebek was able to call fan Michael Kneeter and hear his well wishes.
Kneeter, a 32-year-old man with autism and epilepsy, has been a longtime fan of the show and even saw a taping of “Jeopardy!” at Madison Square Garden in 1999. According to CNN, the “Jeopardy!” fan, who lost his father to cancer 15 years ago, was eager to wish Trebek well amidst his struggles with the disease.
Kneeter’s mother, Debbie Stevens, went on a mission to track down the “Jeopardy!” host. She began by calling the New York City restaurant that Trebek’s son, Matthew, owns. After a brief phone call and a get well card sent by certified mail, Trebek got the message.
Trebek called Kneeter, but was forced to leave a voicemail. “This is a message for Michael. My name is Alex Trebek. It is Friday 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,” the message said.
A flustered Stevens immediately called the restaurant, hoping to finally have a back-and-forth with Trebek for the sake of her superfan son.
Matthew Trebek was able to get a hold of his father to call the family, and a 7-minute conversation ensued.
“It wasn’t rushed,” Stevens remembers of the call. “He was really concerned and caring for Michael,” she continued.
Kneeter and his mother ended the call by sending Trebek their love and healing thoughts.
Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March.