With his rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in remission, Survivor: Africa winner Ethan Zohn is now focusing on his next battle: raising funds for cancer research.
“The Survivor family has been raising money for so many different causes, and we thought it was a great idea that Survivor created what is, in essence, their own charity,” Zohn, 36, tells PEOPLE. “Once our friend Jenn Lyon passed away from cancer this year, and I was diagnosed, it really sparked us to jump into action.”
Adds Zohn, “I think we can make a real difference in this fight against cancer and hopefully outwit cancer and vote it off the planet.”
Joining him in the fundraising efforts: fan favorites, including Rupert Boneham, “Boston Rob” Mariano, Parvati Shallow, James “JT” Thomas Jr., Benjamin “Coach” Wade, Russell Hantz, reigning Survivor winner Sandra Diaz-Twine and Zohn’s girlfriend and Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca.
The goal, Zohn says, is for people to continue logging onto their Web site, where he will be blogging, donate “whatever they want” and get involved in charity events the former cast will be hosting.
“It’s a long-term alliance, not like a short-term alliance,” says Morasca. “Or one that would involve Russell!”
Zohn plans to join other celebrities when the Stand Up to Cancer telecast returns Sept. 10.
• Reporting by CYNTHIA WANG