Genetic Counseling Program Attends Breast Cancer Awareness Night at PPL Park

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 22, 2012

The Philadelphia Union hosted Breast Cancer Awareness Night at PPL Park on Oct. 6. The event benefited Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. More than 17,000 fans, including 34 from Arcadia University’s Genetic Counseling master’s program, were there to cheer the Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution and to help battle cancer.

Jessica Chowns ’08, a second-year student in the Genetic Counseling program, who graduated from Arcadia in 2008 with a B.A. in Biology, was the key connection. Her thesis advisor, Melanie Corbman ’05M, who is also an Arcadia alumna, works for Cancer Treatment Centers of America and put her in touch with the Philadelphia office of FORCE as a resource for her research. When Chowns received the FORCE newsletter, she saw an advertisement for the Union game and proposed the outing. “Attending FORCE night was not only a fun break from our studies,” says Chowns, “but a great opportunity for us as future genetic counselors to support an organization that is a great resource for many of the patients we see.”

The event raised $5,000 for FORCE.  The mission of FORCE includes support, education, advocacy, awareness, and research specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. FORCE is also an advocate for the genetic counseling profession.  The organization provided letters of support to the Pennsylvania legislature to help with obtaining licensure for genetic counselors in the Commonwealth. Stephanie Cohen of the Philadelphia FORCE group has been a guest lecturer in a genetic counseling cancer course at Arcadia.

For more information, visit the FORCE website at