Jump to content

Ethan Zohn -Survivor Africa winner


pinkie
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ethan Zohn, the curly-haired soccer player who battled the elements and outwitted opponents to win Survivor: Africa, is facing his toughest adversary yet: cancer.

On April 30, Zohn was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's disease. The diagnosis came after months of unexplained itching and night sweats, originally thought to be a skin condition. Doctors discovered a swollen lymph node under his left clavicle, and a CT scan revealed a mass on the left side of his chest. Then, just last week, Zohn learned he is suffering from a rare form the disease called CD20-positive Hodgkin's Lymphoma, for which he began chemotherapy last Friday.

"This is the ultimate game of Survivor," Zohn, 35, tells PEOPLE exclusively, "and there's really only one outcome, and that's to win. There's no other option."

Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of the body's lymphatic system with survival rates reaching as high as 90 percent. Zohn was told that the CD20 diagnosis, which affects around five percent of all Hodgkin's patients, has a similar cure rate, but is treated with an altered, more aggressive, three-month chemotherapy regimen. "They're going right after this," he says.

The chemo is expected to knock the always active and otherwise fit Zohn mostly out of commission for a few months, with nausea and weakness among its side effects. And he's expected to lose his famous mop of hair within two weeks.

Zohn's longtime girlfriend, Survivor: The Amazon winner Jenna Morasca, 27, is vowing to be at his side throughout the process. "I will fight with every fabric of my being to get him through this," Morasca tells PEOPLE.

Educating, Inspiring Others

Both Zohn and Morasca lost parents to cancer. Zohn's father died of colon cancer when Ethan was 14. Morasca's mother died in 2003, after a 12-year battle with breast cancer. "Our only point of reference with this situation is death," says Morasca.

Upon hearing the diagnosis, says Zohn, "My life flashed before my eyes." But in the roller coaster of emotions that followed, Zohn came to a conclusion: He wants to use his battle with cancer as way to educate and inspire others.

"This is happening for a reason," he tells PEOPLE. "You have to get spiritual about this [stuff]. I know I want to help people and inspire people. That's my purpose in life. So I need to use this as a platform."

Zohn, who has worked to raise money and awareness for AIDS relief in Africa through his Grassroot Soccer charity ever since winning Survivor's $1-million prize in 2002, had his first chemo treatment in Manhattan last Friday. Doctors inserted a small, octagonal port in his chest through which the chemo will be administered "like a fast-filling station" every two weeks. "It looks like I have a third nipple right now," says Zohn. "You can call me trip-nip!"

He'll face the loss of his hair with the same bravado. "My hair is my identity," he admits. But rather than find "long, disgusting Ethan Zohn hair all over my house," he's decided to shave it off in the next few days: "I'll get a mohawk or something fun that I've always wanted to do."

That's just fine with Morasca. "I so love the bad-boy look," she says. "I'd have him get a tattoo and a nose piercing, too, but he's not into it."

Bad-boy looks or not, Zohn says he feels well-prepared for the long fight ahead. "I've got good family and friends, and I'll roll with the punches as it comes to me. That's how I work in life. I'll take it on like a real game of Survivor," he says, adding: "I'm not getting voted out of this one."

Hope he is ok.. one of my favorite survivors

Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I hope all goes well with the treatments- thanks for posting this. Glad to hear that Jenna and Ethan are still together and she'll be there for him through this battle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=409742&GT1=28103

I thought there was a "In the media" thread, but I couldnt find it, so if you wish feel free to move it..

Nearly a decade after winning $1,000,000 on "Survivor: Africa," Ethan Zhon tells People magazine he is being treated for stage 2 Hodgkin's disease.

He began chemotherapy last Friday for the mass doctors discovered on the left side of his chest that turned out to be a rare form of cancer called CD20-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"This is the ultimate game of 'Survivor'," Zohn, 35, says in the exclusive interview, "and there's really only one outcome, and that's to win. There's no other option."

Although survival rates for Hodgkin's disease are high at 90%, the chemotherapy regimen for this particular form of the illness is intense.

The soccer player will undergo three months of radiation treatment, according to the magazine.

His longtime girlfriend and "Survivor: The Amazon" winner Jenna Morasca, 27, tells People she plans to "fight with every fabric of [her] being" to help her boyfriend defeat the cancer.

Both Zohn and Morasca lost parents to cancer, leading the couple to associate the disease only with death, Morasca says.

But Zohn, who has campaigned for AIDS awareness and research in Africa through his charity, Grassroot Soccer, says he intends to use this experience to help others.

"This is happening for a reason," he says. "You have to get spiritual about this [stuff]. I know I want to help people and inspire people. That's my purpose in life. So I need to use this as a platform."

Zohn's outlook is positive, and he points out he's lucky enough to have good friends and family by his side and that he's ready to "roll with the punches.

"I'll take it on like a real game of 'Survivor'," he says. "I'm not getting voted out of this one."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I have two friends going through chemo right now; one has breast cancer 9 her first time) and the other has Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomia for the second time. It does suck. I hope that all get well! :fear::down::sadwalk:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Poor guy. We had a friend about 10 years ago that had a similar form of cancer and he was gone within about 6 months. But let's hope some of the new therapies they have come up with since then will save Ethan. Great guy - sucks that he is having to deal with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...