Jerry Springer's Friends Reflect on Last Days Spent With Veteran TV Host Who Fought Pancreatic Cancer Battle

Jerry Springer was in a "cocoon of love" before he died of pancreatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with only several months earlier.

Jerry Springer only lived for a few months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  

“It’s a horrible disease, especially in that it sneaks up on you,” Jean Galvin, Springer’s longtime friend, tells Inside Edition. Galvin was one of the few people who knew the 79-year-old veteran TV host was terminally ill.  

“The family and those of us who were very close to him, we knew it was happening,” Galvin says. “The family wanted it kept private. Particularly, he wanted it kept private.” 

Galvin was with Springer in his last days, and says, “I was a firsthand witness to this cocoon of love that makes it as good as it can be.”  

Steve Wilkos rose to fame as the security guard who broke up the fights on the Springer show. He saw Springer just two months ago and says something told him it was the last time. 

“We did do a lot of talking about the old days and it struck me as a little odd. He was very emotional during the night, kept telling me he loved me, and I was telling him I loved him,” Wilkos says. “The way he talked that night and the way he hugged me; in a way he was telling me goodbye.” 

Pancreatic cancer kills 50,000 Americans a year. The American Cancer Society estimates this year just over 64 thousand people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. It took the lives of Aretha Franklin, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.  

Pancreatic cancer is so deadly, in part, because it’s not often diagnosed until it’s in its late stages. Though it is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, experts say there are warning signs that may help catch it earlier.

Elliot Newman, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says pay attention to if you have pain in the back or abdomen, experience jaundice, which is the yellowing of the eyes and skin, experience weight loss and nausea after meals.  

“You don’t know you have it and then it reveals itself,” Galvin says. “Time then becomes very short.”

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