• 20 Years of Memories

    Journeys 2020 marked 13thirty Cancer Connect’s 20th year of making a difference for teens and young adults living with cancer. Journeys is an annual celebration of life where our members and their creativity are featured in a performance that our families and supporters are invited to watch. Though we wish we could have celebrated together in person, this year’s virtual event allowed members living around the country to watch from the comfort of their own homes. The pandemic has challenged us to adapt our programs and events to formats that allow members to safely connect with one another. Our generous sponsors have helped make our continuum of support possible during these uncertain times.

    Journeys 2020 included a performance of the Maroon 5 song, “Memories” sang by 13thirty members. This year’s awards went to Doug Spiker for the Make a Difference Award and Jim Blaesi of Blaesi’s Automotive for the Corporate Salute. Watch the song performance or the full event hosted by Corrie Carter from Polite Ink on our YouTube channel:

    Special Thanks

    memoriesWe owe a special thank you to Anthony Siciliano of Head to the Roots for opening the event with soothing acoustic music.

    If you enjoyed our Sips and Starters packages this year, we can thank Chef’s Catering, Flash Point Customs, Eastway Liquor and Wegmans for their help creating them.

    The “Memories” performance was put together by Matt Sengbusch and Jon Madden.



  • back to school

    Back to School

    It’s that time of year again! Returning to school will definitely be different this year, but there’s one thing that remains the same- there are tons of scholarship opportunities. There’s a common misconception that you have to have stellar grades to receive a scholarship. While there are many academic scholarships available, there’s plenty out there based on financial need, race, gender, academic programs, athletics, study abroad programs, and even cancer experience. Some are specifically for childhood cancer, young adult cancer, or specific types of cancer. Scholarships that are for students affected by cancer typically require a written statement or essay about how cancer has impacted your life, recommendations, and a note from a physician to confirm your diagnosis.

    Remember, most scholarships have specific application deadlines. If you miss the deadline, keep it bookmarked and apply the following semester or year. Some scholarships have rolling deadlines, so you have the opportunity to apply all year long, but early applicants have better chances of being awarded funds.

    Need tips on writing a scholarship essay? Check out SCHOLLY’s “Hot Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay” for guidance. Once you get those scholarships, be sure to send a thank you letter! Find examples here.

    Scholarship Links:


    ($5,000) Cameron Siemers Foundation For Hope

    ($2,500) Baron & Budd

    (Varies) Scott Delgadillo College Scholarship

    (Varies) Kay/Moore Scholarship Fund

    ($10,000) Bristol-Myers Squib Scholarship for Cancer Survivors

    (Varies) NCCF Survivor Scholarship Program

    (2,000) Children’s Cancer Cause


    Specific Eligibility

    (Varies) Cancer Survivors’ Fundoffers financial aid to those needing prosthetics following cancer

    ($250 – $4,000) Cancer for Collegeoffers college scholarships to amputees and cancer survivors

    ($2,500) Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adultsprovides a scholarship to young adults who were diagnosed or treated for cancer at age 15 years or older

    ($2,500) Matt Stauffer Memorial Scholarshipoffers $2500 to college students currently fighting cancer or who were diagnosed and treated after the age of 15

    ($2,000 – $3,000) Michael A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship: offers an annual scholarship of between $2000 and $3000 to those affected by leukemia or lymphoma

    (Varies) Nicki Leach Foundation: offers financial assistance to those who were diagnosed and treated for cancer between the ages of 18 and 30 years old

    ($3,000) Patient Advocate Foundation Scholarships for Survivoroffers scholarships for cancer survivors under the age of 25 and diagnosed within the past five years

    ($1,000 – $6,000) Tim & Tom Gullikson Family Support Fund: must be diagnosed with a primary malignant or non-malignant brain or spinal cord tumor prior to age 19

    (Varies) Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundationprovides scholarships to deserving students whose lives have been impacted by leukemia and lymphoma

    ($1,000) The John Foy & Associates Strong Arm Leukemia Scholarshipscholarship will be awarded to one college student who has battled leukemia or whose life has been affected by it

    (Varies) Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundationstudent must have undergone a transplant and demonstrates financial need

    ($500) The Izzy Foundation: diagnosed before the age of 18 with pediatric cancer


    Scholarship Search Engines

    Scholarships.com: Cancer Patient/Survivor (or Child of) Scholarships

    Cappex.com: Cancer Scholarships

    ACCO.org: Financial Aid for Students








  • program info

    Fitness Friends 

    As we approach month six of quarantine, we have started to return to our usual routines, which for many include working out at our local gyms. A good workout, a crucial part of some people’s routines, benefits both our physical and mental health and serves as respite from our new normal but unfortunately, gyms remain closed.

    At 13thirty Cancer Connect, we recognize the impact of physical activity on our well-being, especially following cancer treatment. We have continued to offer our fitness programs virtually to our AYAs and their parents. All of our workout programs include Rochester and Syracuse members, making connections across counties. Both of our trainers have gotten to know members and their families from both of our centers.

    We are so thankful to have made connections with our local trainers— Michelle Dougan, CPT, from Elevate Fitness in Liverpool and Brianne Young, PT, DPT, from UR Medicine Home Care in Rochester. Our trainers have stuck with us through quarantine and adapted to our new remote program style via Zoom video chats. They both continue to challenge us at our monthly 13thirty Fit! and Parent Fit! programs. Check out our calendar and join us for our next fitness program!

    If you’re interested in one-on-one sessions with Michelle, contact her today via Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/shelsworkout

  • Happy 1st Birthday 13thirty Syracuse!

    birthday Syracuse

  • careers

    Cancer + Careers

    People around the country are feeling the impact of COVID-19 on their careers. This may mean lay-offs for some and new working conditions for others. For those living with cancer, going back to the workplace or looking for a new job can be scarier than ever before. Many fear job security or a lack of opportunities, but AYAs living with cancer also fear the health risk of going back to the workplace or being able to find a safe job. As a vulnerable population, those living with cancer may experience these crisis-caused challenges and need the help of some career resources.

    Cancer + Careers Resources

    Cancer + Careers helps those living with cancer become empowered in the workplace via online, print, and in-person resources. From the point of diagnosis, Cancer + Careers can help you navigate the legal and financial implications of cancer treatment. They even provide resources for helping coworkers become a support system.

    Cancer + Careers offers resources specific to the COVID-19 crisis such as workshops, webinars and available financial resources. If you’re searching for a new position, look into their tips on interviewing and use their resume review service. While we’re still in quarantine, take some time to view their videos on balancing work and cancer or read some of their free publications on working with cancer.

    Let’s keep our communities safe and continue to follow our local and state guidelines. For those in good health and returning to work, please be mindful of the challenges that AYAs may be facing due to this pandemic and remember to wash hands regularly and social distance to protect one another. Please read the CDC’s guidance for safe practices when returning to the workforce.

  • 2017 Overview

    2017, A Year to Remember

    We want to thank all those who volunteered and donated to 13thirty in 2017. You have helped us have a fantastic year full of a variety of programs and community events. We also want to thank our teens and young adults who take a leap by walking through our doors for the first time. Taking on cancer is brave and coming to a new place with new people and sharing that journey is extraordinary. So thank you for being open and helping one another by sharing your experiences about living with cancer.

    Take a look at our video below to get a glimpse of how proud we are of 2017!

    Stop in and visit us any time!


    — Melissa Sengbusch