When the mood strikes, I like to get in on the Person of the Year honors the same way that Time Magazine does. In the past, honorees have included Steve Carrell (2001) and last year’s upset kid of 2008, Mike the Miz from the world of professional wrestling.

But this year?

The person of 2009 is Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor Africa and champion to the cause of HIV/AIDS.  Before I ever met Ethan, he earned my utmost admiration by taking his reality-TV show winnings from Survivor and directing them at preventing HIV infections in Africa. The picture of health, Ethan was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Disease earlier this year. Right now he is in the midst of a month-long stay in a bubble in the hospital to give his body the ultimate chance of being cancer-free from here on out. His partner, Jenna Morasca, posted an update on December 17th on her blog, detailing their challenges and the good news they got after a dry spell of all things good news related.

Last year’s pick, The Miz, actually had his most awesome year yet in 2009 after getting my nod, so I felt like I’d send that good streak of fortune to Zohn.  It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, but Ethan’s been extremely brave and open about his journey this year.  Here’s to a healthier and happier 2010 for Mr. Zohn, my 2009 Person of the Year.  (That shirt stands for “Ethan Zohn Fuck Cancer!”)

Positively Yours,

If you’d like to send a “Get Well Get Outta That Bubble Soon” card to Ethan,
you may do so by sending here:
Memorial Sloan Kettering
Attn: Ethan Zohn
1275 York Ave. NY NY 10065

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