Colorectal surgeon Dr. Nelson Mozia was recently awarded the 2014 John S. Sable Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. The surgeon, who chose his career after experiencing firsthand his mother’s struggle against colon cancer, received the second edition of the award.
Born in Nigeria, Mozia’s career began at the Cleveland Clinic, where he completed his residency and then became chief resident in general surgery and a special fellow in colon and rectal surgery, after his graduation from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in 1975. The surgeon retired this year, after more than 30 years living in Colorado, where he conducted his own practice at Northwest Surgical Associates in Wheat Ridge.
The award was presented to Mozia by his own daughter, Lennee, who described him as an “extraordinarily deserving man. He’s a gifted surgeon with a good heart, and an amazing husband, father and doctor,” according to Joanne Davidson, from the Denver Post.
During the event, the foundation also paid a tribute to Holly Brown Bowen, from Salt Lake City, who received the Volunteer of the Year award for her work performed at CCFA since 2011. The volunteer started her work at the association shortly after her daughter Blair, nine-years old at the time, was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease, and has already run five of the CCFA’s Team Challenge half-marathons, as well as help raising $58,000 to support research.
Dan and Jodie Skodol were also recognized as Young Philanthropists of the Year for their support of the association, as both have been working with the CCFA for three years. Dan’s sister suffers from the disease and became Team Denver’s top fundraiser. Both have also run in five Team Challenge half-marathons and contributed $25,000 in funds raised for the association.
The luncheon event was chaired by Lauren Polak, whose younger brother is in remission from Crohn’s disease, and emceed by the former 9News reporter Brooke Thacker, who said it is “a very isolating disease, one that’s very difficult to talk about.”