Ethan Zohn: A Diamond in the Rough
I don’t write blogs too often but when something or somebody impacts me in a special way, I am moved to share it with others. In a world with so much violence and hatred it is rare to hear stories about those in society that live life with integrity, honor, passion and the pursuit to help our world become a better place. Even rarer, it is to meet someone with celebrity status that does not believe they are entitled or should be treated better than any other human being in this world. I believe that Ethan Zohn is one of these rare and unique human beings.
I met Ethan Zohn back in September when I was asked to be a special guest on his show Everyday Health on ABC. Immediately, we connected and he later asked me to run the New York City Marathon with him to STOP the spread of AIDS/HIV through Grassroots Soccer. I like to think that I am a very good judge of character and when I met Ethan I felt the genuineness in his touch and heard power in his voice. I have been blessed to have met many people in high up positions and with celebrity status and I will truthfully admit I did not get the same character profile as I did with Ethan.
As I stated, I ran the NYC Marathon with Ethan a week ago (Nov 6th) and spent a great deal of time with him on a real life level. During these moments I could feel the passion that he had for the causes he believed. One moment stood out to me while we were running the marathon. At mile 18 we ran by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where Ethan was diagnosed and received chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As we ran by he spotted a girl in a wheelchair and on a chemo-pump. He immediately took a detour and ran over to the girl and gave her a big hug and kiss on the cheek. I got chills as this happened and at that point I knew I was with a special person.
Lastly, I respect Ethan for the way in which he is dealing with the potentially deadly condition of cancer. Ethan is determined to continue living his life and not let cancer prevent him from doing what he wants. In a similar fashion I had to decide to not let the loss of vision deter me from living my life to my potential. Although both of these conditions are not “normal” in society, they are “normal” to us. The ability to understand and accept these life changing events is a sign of a strong human being. Ethan Zohn is an amazing person and a “Diamond in the Rough.”
I ran the New York City Marathon with Ethan to help support the mission of Grassroots Soccer (GRS) in preventing the spread of AIDS and HIV around the world. I am continuing to raise money to meet my fundraising goal and need your help. If you could help Ethan and I in giving the red card to AIDS and HIV many lives will be spared. To do this click on this link and click on Donate: http://www.crowdrise.com/teamgrassrootsoccer/fundraiser/AaronScheidies