Survivor: Africa champ Ethan Zohn has claimed a prize more precious than a million dollars: victory over cancer.
Now Ethan and the reality show that made him famous are helping other patients beat the odds. We just talked to the "ultimate survivor" about Survivor's new lifesaving alliance—and the reality show's upcoming season...
"My health is great," Ethan, diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in April 2009, told us today. "I went through a stem-cell transplant in January and got good test results in April announcing that the cancer's in remission. I'm feeling really good—excited, healthy and happy."
Ethan credits his victory over cancer to "a great support crew"—his family and longtime girlfriend Jenna Morasca (winner of Survivor: The Amazon)—and "modern medicine." The mop-topped Survivor all-star (who lost his trademark 'do during chemotherapy) says that's why he's "so passionate" about Survivor Stands Up to Cancer (SU2C)—a long-term fundraiser for groundbreaking cancer research. The initiative launches tonight with a PSA on CBS featuring Survivor favorites like Rupert, Colby, Boston Rob, Parvati, J.T., Sandra, Coach and yes, even Russell Hantz.
"We hid an immunity idol in the camera," Ethan joked about persuading Russell to participate.
"The money raised in Stand Up to Cancer is going directly to cancer research, to accelerate the laboratory process and get these new therapies out of the laboratory and into the patient as quickly as possible," Ethan told us. "It's really having amazing results as we speak."
Ethan himself is the poster boy for amazing results: "I'm training for the New York City marathon now," dished the former soccer pro. "I'm excited to run that."
Ethan and Jenna are both looking forward to Survivor: Nicaragua, with Jimmy Johnson Ethan's pick to win. "He's more recognizable for his hair than I was," Ethan joked.
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Meet the Castaways of Survivor: Nicaragua in our photo gallery and let us know whether you agree with Ethan's prediction!