It was an emotional moment for both Zohn and his girlfriend or eight years, Jenna Morasca, who was there when he received the news that his cancer had returned to his lungs. But Zohn wasn't going to let his aching body stop him from achieving his goal. He was determined to outrun the cancer.
"My quads were burning, my hamstrings felt like they were about to rip off," he told People magazine after the marathon. "But I knew with every step I was crushing little cancer cells on the road. I even wrote 'f--k canzer' on the bottom of my shoes. That's what kept me going."
In 2009, Zohn was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called CD20-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma. After undergoing treatment, Zohn revealed he was cancer-free in late April 2010. Sadly, his caner returned in September On Oct. 18, he began a new cancer treatment, a smarter form of chemotherapy that only targets the cancerous cells.
Even though Zohn has a long way to go, including a possible stem cell transplant, the doctor gave the 'Survivor' winner permission to run the NYC marathon, a feat he not only did for himself but also to raise money for his Grassroot Soccer organization, which promotes HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
When he hit a wall during mile 18, John had the NYC crowd's overwhelming support to help him through the last eight miles. "Literally it was like walking into a surprise party that was organized just for me. 'Go Ethan! Keep running! Outrun cancer!' It was really an incredible experience," he told the magazine.
Zohn finished the race in 4:20:46, and Morasca was there to greet him at the finish line. "She was right there, by my side, as always," said Zohn. With her support, Zohn will now face his next battle -- his next chemotherapy treatment -- on Tuesday.
But he doesn't want to think of that just yet. Instead, he's just going to look at it as a simple checkup because right now, he has some celebrating to do.
"Finishing the marathon gave me more confidence and strength," he told the magazine. "It really felt like all of New York was cheering for me today. And I am going to get through this."