Assumption Opens its doors to 15-40 Connection
Ryan Morgera – STAFF WRITER
Worcester, MA- Assumption College juniors Eniang Bassey, Tim Power and myself are in the midst of setting up a 15-40 Connection Club on campus. 15-40 Connection is a nonprofit organization that teaches people the signs and symptoms of cancer and early detection, which can save lives. The club will most likely set-up informational tables in both Hagan and outside the Laska gymnasium this winter during basketball games. 15-40’s website reads, “A recent study concluded that the survival rates for people diagnosed early with eight of the most common cancers is more than three times higher than if it is diagnosed in later stages” (15-40.org). This club is trying to spread awareness on a real issue that affects just about everyone in society.
Mark’s son David passed away shortly thereafter and Jim knew he needed to help Mark out. Together, Coughlin and his friend designed a Golf Tournament to raise money for cancer research. Ten short years later, Mark passed away from cancer, leaving Coughlin in charge of the tournament. As the anniversary of his friend’s death approached in 2005, Coughlin wanted to celebrate it by dedicating something in Mark’s honor. Coughlin met with Dr. Karen Albritton who showed him, “data illustrating the fact that improvements in cancer survival rates for teens and young adults, those aged 15 to 40, were not keeping pace with other age groups and more alarmingly had barely improved since 1975. Dr. Albritton explained that there had not been a specific focus on this age group and it had “fallen through the cracks” (15-40.org).
After this, Coughlin founded the “Mark Ungerer Fellowship”, which trained doctors who specialized in adolescent and young adult cancers. Then, “The Mark & David Ungerer Golf Tournament, Gala and Auction took on a new focus as well. Proceeds were directed to adolescent & young adult oncology’s greatest needs (clinical care or research) as determined by the Chief Medical Officer” (15-40.org). This led to Coughlin and his family creating what is today known as the 15-40 Connection.
With its offices located in Westborough, Massachusetts, 15-40 has made a huge impact on the Central Massachusetts area already.
You may know the white, oval “15-40 Connection” bumper sticker, or even the orange and gray bracelets. Like previously stated, 15-40 is a nonprofit organization that runs on donations from the public. Historically, 15-40 has received donations over $20,000 from the Red Sox Foundation, NESN and many other companies and gracious people. Every winter they hold a gala at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury where they celebrate and nominate people to receive awards.
15-40 is coming to Assumption, but we are going to need help. While we are trying to spread the news about 15-40, it is very difficult to do by ourselves; we need your help. 15-40 can be found on Twitter (@1540Connection), Instagram (@1540Connection) and Facebook. There is also an Assumption 15-40 Instagram page (@1540connectionassumption). If you have any interest in being a member of the club, please reach out to the Assumption 15-40 Instagram page. If you have interest but you are not quite sure how to get involved, please “retweet”, “like” and comment on our posts. A simple “retweet” could impact someone in more ways than you can imagine. And as always, please feel free to stop by our table when we get set up, we’ll have some cool free giveaways and information pamphlets for you to help us spread the word about early detection for cancer.
I am very eager to see what we can do with this club in the coming years. We are looking to really make an impact in the Assumption community as well as the surrounded Worcester community as well.
“The statistics of early detection vs late detection is astonishing and very few people even know about it or the signs to be able to detect it. I hope that by forming this club we can spread awareness to the Assumption community. I can’t wait to see what we can do” said Tim Power, junior and co-founder of 15-40 Assumption.
“I am beyond excited to get the 15-40 connection club up and running here on campus. We are looking forward to spreading awareness for early cancer detection throughout the student body. “The worst kind of cancer diagnosis is a late one.” We want people to get involved and spread the word” said Eniang Bassey another junior co-founder of 15-40 Assumption.
Stay tuned for more on the 15-40 Connection Club at Assumption. Our hopes is that we can help spread awareness about statistics of early detection and help save lives.
Ryan Morgera, a junior, studies English. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.