BOSTON, MA (April 8, 2013) – One year after being released from the hospital for his stem cell transplant, cancer crusher Ethan Zohn leads the Grassroot Soccer team in the 117th annual Boston Marathon. This is his first marathon after having undergone a transplant to combat his recurrence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and will be his first Boston Marathon.

Zohn, a Massachusetts native, is thrilled to be healthy enough to participate in one of the world’s most famous marathons:

Ethan Zohn“I’m feeling really lucky. The type of treatment I had, and the buffet of meds I am on, have a debilitating effect on my body…There was a time when I couldn’t even walk one New York City block. Psychologically, this killed my spirits. But the day I could jog a mile [again] was one of the best days of my life.”

Zohn is particularly psyched to be running Boston for his charity, Grassroot Soccer, which uses the language of soccer to empower African youth with life-saving HIV prevention knowledge:

“The 26 miles we’ll run on this course is equivalent to the $26 it takes to give one young person in Africa a life-saving opportunity to take control of their own future,” said Zohn.

“AIDS is still devastating Sub Saharan Africa, but that’s something we have the power to change. Every member of the team is dedicated to training for the Marathon, reaching the $30,000 goal, and helping youth in Africa live healthy, productive lives.”

The Grassroot Soccer Boston Marathon team includes the following dedicated runners:

  • Josh Elkes and Nicole Delma, who are running back to back races in support of Grassroot Soccer The two of them recently returned from Cape Town, South Africa after running the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon
  • Brian Donovan, multiple marathon finisher

Grassroot Soccer is a select non-profit partner in John Hancock’s Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program. Grassroot Soccer’s various Marathon Teams have raised over $600,000 dollars for HIV and AIDS prevention education for youth in Africa. This year’s Grassroot Soccer Boston Marathon Team is aiming to raise $30,000 to educate, test and treat 1,200 youths in Africa.

To support Zohn and the Grassroot Soccer team, please visit:


For further information contact:

Sarah Callaway, Grassroot Soccer, (802)-649-2900


About Grassroot Soccer and Ethan Zohn:

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and empower communities to stop the spread of HIV. The vision of GRS is a world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS-free generation. GRS has programs in 10 African countries with flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Founded by four professional soccer players, Grassroot Soccer is mobilizing the most vulnerable population of youth ages 12 – 19 to break the cycle of AIDS by engaging local coaches who equip young people with the knowledge, skills and support they need to avoid HIV. For more information, visit

Ethan Zohn is a co-founder of Grassroot Soccer and is responsible for oversight of their US projects, including corporate sponsor cultivation and technical program management. In 2002, Ethan was the winner of CBS’s television program ‘Survivor Africa’, and he works to harness his celebrity for the benefit of Grassroot Soccer. Ethan is a graduate of Vassar College, and he has played and coached soccer professionally in Zimbabwe, the United States, and as a member of the US National team for the 1997 and 2001 Maccabiah Games in Israel and 2004 Pan-American Maccabiah Games in Chile. In recognition for his work Ethan was awarded the 2004 Nkosi Johnson Community Spirit Award by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, the Heroes Among Us Award from the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Health Department, and the Auxilia Chimusoro Award from the US State Department in Zimbabwe. In August 2008, Ethan embarked on a record-breaking 550-mile journey on foot from Boston, MA to Washington, D.C., dribbling a soccer ball the entire route, to raise money and build awareness for GRS. Ethan ran the NYC Marathon for Grassroot Soccer in 2009, 2010 and 2011.


About the Boston Marathon and John Hancock:

The 117th Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, April 15, 2013. Nearly 27,000 runners will start the race at Hopkinton and run the 26.2-mile route through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston.

John Hancock is the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon. Each year John Hancock donates guaranteed entries to select nonprofits, which use these entries to recruit individual runners to raise money for their cause. The Company’s continued support of the Boston Athletic Association, which has directed the race since 1897, ensures that the race will continue to be a world-class event and an important facet of Boston’s culture and heritage.

The Boston Marathon ranks behind only the Super Bowl as the largest single day sporting event in the world (in terms of media coverage). More than 1,100 media members, representing more than 250 outlets, receive credentials annually.

Approximately 500,000 spectators line the 26.2-mile course annually, making the Marathon New England’s most widely viewed sporting event, according to estimates by police and public safety officials from the eight cities and towns along the route.