Portland ‘Jeopardy’ champ helps pancreatic cancer fight


Avi Gupta donated $10,000 to Knight Cancer Institute

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Avi Gupta won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament in June, he donated 10% of his $100,000 prize to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute in honor of host Alex Trebek.

Monday, Gupta played “Jeopardy!” with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to learn about blood cancer research and treatments.

LLS helped advance 34 of the 39 blood cancer treatment options approved by the FDA in 2017 and 2018.

Lately, he said, the group is focused on early detection for pancreatic cancer, the kind Trebek is battling. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat if it’s diagnosed late.

‘Jeopardy!’ Teen Tournament champion Avi Gupta joined LLS to raise awareness for cancer research, January 13, 2020 (KOIN)

“Our hope is that the money will support better early detection diagnostic tools,” he said, “but also that the campaign itself, using my platform as someone who appeared on ‘Jeopardy!’ will help encourage more people to the signs of pancreatic cancer so that they can get tested and treated earlier.”

Gupta graduated from Catlin Gabel in 2019 and is now a freshman at Columbia University. He also founded a student-run social startup, Project 32, which addresses dental disease in youth.

He was happy to be in Portland on Monday and back playing the game he loves.

“I learned a lot about the great work that’s going on here at LLS and broadly with cancer here in Oregon through OHSU and the other nonprofits and other research organizations that support them,” he told KOIN 6 News. “It was fun to get back to the game of ‘Jeopardy!’ I hadn’t played in a while.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Teen Tournament champion Avi Gupta joined LLS to raise awareness for cancer research, January 13, 2020 (KOIN)

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