Northwestern welcomes Ethan Zohn to campus

July 07, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—Northwestern Health Sciences University welcomes internationally known speaker, former professional soccer player, charity founder and “Survivor: Africa” winner Ethan Zohn to campus Saturday to speak about his experiences and the future of health care.

Known for his work to raise funds to fight HIV and AIDS through his charity, Grassroot Soccer, Zohn was the winner of “Survivor: Africa,” the third season of the popular CBS-TV reality show, which was set in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve.

He also is a two-time cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009, requiring aggressive chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant. After a period of remission, the cancer returned in 2011, requiring further treatment before he entered remission again.

Zohn, 42, will discuss his work as well as his personal health journey at Northwestern’s Discovery Day for prospective students and others at 9 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium on the university’s Bloomington campus.

“I’ve had many great life opportunities, including winning the reality television show “Survivor: Africa,” playing professional soccer and co-founding the charity Grassroot Soccer,” Zohn said. “I’ve run marathons and traveled the world raising awareness about the global AIDS pandemic. But I’ve also survived two bouts with cancer, which left me with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by patients with life-threatening diseases.”

Zohn has a connection to Northwestern. His brother, Lee, and sister-in-law, Heidi, are chiropractors and Northwestern graduates.

“My illness expanded my appreciation for what they do every day to help people in pain,” Zohn said. “I am a living example of the benefits of all the approaches that Northwestern graduates have to offer, because chiropractic, massage and acupuncture were very important companions to the medical treatment I received while a two-time cancer patient.”

Northwestern is proud to welcome Zohn and to share his experiences, President Christopher Cassirer said.

“Ethan’s story is powerful, uplifting and energizing,” he said. “Our goal is to be the premier health sciences university that helps create a healthier world. Ethan is a wonderful example of how we all can do our part to make that happen.”

About Northwestern Health Sciences University

For more than 75 years, Northwestern Health Sciences University, based in Bloomington, Minn., has provided world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, Chinese medicine, nutrition and other health treatments. Northwestern has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries. For more information, please visit

Contact: Leslie Bronk, Chief Operating Officer 952-888-4777, ext. 413

Back to Top