April 16, 2012 06:37 AM by Shayla Perry
When Survivor winner Ethan Zohn found himself unable to take a shot at qualifying for this year’s Boston Marathon because of his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he didn’t quit, he called on a friend — Bachelorette alum Ryan Sutter. Now, the ABC reality star will be stepping into Ethan’s shoes, running in support of the charity Zohn co-founded, Grassroot Soccer.
“Ryan is proof that you don’t have to have a diagnosis to be affected by a life-threatening disease,” Ethan Zohn tells People. “I’m so impressed with his passion to help others. He stepped up for me before and is doing it again. … To me, that’s inspiring!”
In November, Zohn, 38, was able to participate in the New York Marathon, but a recent stem-cell transplant, which he refers to as “the most grueling test of strength and will that I have ever experienced,” is keeping him from lacing up for today’s race.
“Every day I woke up afraid that I may not make it out alive,” says Ethan of the procedure. “That being said, I have taken that fear and used it to keep me motivated to focus on the positives that have come from my experience.”
Today, a little more than 40 days after receiving the stem-cell transplant, Zohn may not be ready for a marathon, but he’s gradually getting his strength back and has already started jogging and playing soccer again — lightly.
“It’s not easy, but I’m getting stronger every day,” says Ethan. “I may not say it as much as I should, but all the love and support means the world to me.”
We’re rootin’ for ya Ethan…and Ryan!
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Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor, The Bachelorette |
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