Survivor‘s Ethan Zohn happily celebrated his health by taking a victorious rub past the hospital where he was treated.
The Survivor contestant had spent months in the hospital in New York battling a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma disease.
“I just – for the first time ever – jogged past the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and that was a big moment for me,” Zohn, 36, told People at the ‘Stand Up 2 Cancer’ telecast on Friday.
Happily sporting his well-known curls that have finally grown back after chemotherapy, Zohn said the experience was amazing. “When I left that hospital on Jan. 12, 2010, I couldn’t even walk. I had to be taken out in a wheelchair. So to be able to run by there, healthy, that was the best feeling in the world!”
The reality TV star still goes for routine checkups, though he has been in remission since April. He explained, “Until you get to five years, it’s not considered cured. But now I’m just happy to wake up in the morning [and] go for a jog.”
Zohn appreciates‘Stand Up 2 Cancer’ for raising cancer research and treatment funds. When chemotherapy failed, an experimental stem cell transplant saved his life . Zohn also had girlfriend Jenna Morasca by his side, also a previous Survivor contestant.
“I never, ever doubted he was going to beat it. But there were times when I felt like I just wanted to throw my hands up and say ‘I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much,’ ” Morasca told People.
Morasca recalled that she also had a good support system. “Those were the times when I’d call my girlfriends and say ‘Can I just come over to your house and cry? Please don’t talk to me. Just let me cry.’ If I didn’t have good friends, I wouldn’t be able to make it through that.”
On a lighter note, Morasca joked that she prefers Zohn’s new hairdo to the longer curls. “I’m excited about the faux-hawk, because I wasn’t too into the curls. It was too preppy-good-guy. This is like a badass look for me, so it’s kind of like having a new boyfriend. So it’s like a win-win for me.”
The couple hopes to return to television. Zohn even hinted at trying Survivor again, “I don’t know – maybe in another year or so, when I’m healthier. Just so I can beat Jenna.”