DALLAS TWP. — More than 105 members of the Misericordia University campus community, along with state Rep. Karen Boback, were recognized for their participation in the 13th anniversary of C.A.S.U.A.L. Day (Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) sponsored by the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
In a special on-campus ceremony hosted by the Cancer Institute, Boback read a State House of Representatives proclamation designating March 31, 2016 as C.A.S.U.A.L. Day in Pennsylvania. A copy of the proclamation was presented to Karen Saunders, president of the Cancer Institute, who congratulated the Misericordia community for having the largest C.A.S.U.A.L. Day team in the region.
Organized by staff member Emma Mulhern, the Misericordia team includes students, staff, faculty, alumni and President Thomas J. Botzman. They purchased and wore gray shirts with a blue cancer ribbon logo or a blue ribbon pin to raise money and awareness about the importance of screening and early detection of colon cancer. Colon and rectal cancers are among the most frequently diagnosed cancers in areas of Northeast Pennsylvania, with incidence rates in some areas as high as 16 percent above the national average.
Speaking to the assembly, Botzman recognized the efforts of Mulhern, a member of the university’s facilities staff, who became involved with C.A.S.U.A.L. Day after her 29-year old daughter, Terry Genners, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012.
Today, Genners is a colon cancer survivor, coming up on her fourth year post-surgery. Botzman credited Mulhern with garnering 130 C.A.S.U.A.L. Day participants in 2016, including 105 at the campus plus another 25 family and personal friends; 115 participants in 2015; 90 participants in 2014 and 45 participants in 2013, and raising about $6,000 for the Cancer Institute to support cancer awareness and research.
C.A.S.U.A.L. Day was established by the family of Helen Phillips, who fought a courageous battle against colon cancer and died in the summer of 2002, according to Saunders. There are more than 300 C.A.S.U.A.L. Day teams in the NEPA region.