• 13thirty programs

    13thirty Programs: Wellness, Arts, and of course, Fun!

    At 13thirty Cancer Connect, we host a variety of programs for our members and their parents. Offering regular programs helps address the unique challenges that AYA cancer can present. We try and tackle these challenges together through three program categories: wellness, arts, and social.

    Wellness
    Our wellness programs, focused on both nutrition and fitness, addresses healthier eating and getting back into shape following treatment. Last month we returned to 13thirty Fit! for both our AYAs and their parents. This month, we have a different kind of workout program; we’ll be led through a yoga class on Zoom!

    Expressive Arts
    Whether we’re painting Bandana Bolt medals, writing poetry, or practicing a performance for Journey’s, at 13thirty the work our AYAs do is incredible! Their compassion shines through as they share their stories with one another through their artwork, poetry, music, and more! This month we made Father’s Day cards to follow last month’s Mother’s Day cards.

    Social
    Getting to know other teens and young adults who understand the cancer experience is what 13thirty Cancer Connect is all about. Our Zoom game nights and happy hours are becoming hits and we will keep up the laughs and connections next month.

    Guests
    Wondering who can come to programs at the center and virtually on Zoom? 13thirty Cancer Connect programs are always free and we encourage members to bring a sibling or friend in the 13-30 age range. It may be eye opening to learn about the medical, physical, social, and emotional challenges facing our AYAs.  Keep an eye out for our monthly program calendar. You can find it on both the Rochester and Syracuse program pages, as well as on the site calendar with our other events.

  • parent programs

    Parent Programs

    Parent Happy Hour

    At 13thirty Cancer Connect, we’ve been hosting frequent programs on Zoom for our AYAs in both Rochester and Syracuse. We finally got the chance to catch up with our 13thirty parents this month at our Parent Happy Hour program. 13thirty parents joined a Zoom call to connect with one another and catch up since quarantine went into effect.

    A note from our Founder & Executive Director, Lauren Spiker:

    Adolescence and young adulthood come with many life changes and transitions for teens and young adults – and for parents! We all hope our children will become independent, responsible adults able to manage the ups and downs of life on their own, but it’s often really hard to let go and watch the process unfold. When cancer enters the picture, everything changes and regardless of their age, taking care of our children becomes priority number one. In truth, I’ve never met a parent who wouldn’t trade places with his or her child in a heartbeat when cancer threatens. That not an option, our natural instinct kicks into high gear and we do everything humanly possible to ease the pain. We just do what parents do – give everything we have to take care of our child.

    But it’s often a lonely road we walk. Well-meaning friends help the best they can and we are grateful but they don’t know what it’s like. How could they? That’s where 13thirty Cancer Connect comes in. Just as we do for our teens and young adults, we offer parents the comfort of peers who understand. Other parents who know how it feels even when we can’t find the words to describe our fears, our hopes, our dreams. Others who know the weight of our shoes and the pain in our hearts. Though it’s a club no parent ever wants to join, new members are always welcome!

    Upcoming Parent Programs

    Our next parent program is Parent Fit on Thursday, June 11th at 6:30 PM. Our Rochester trainer, Brianne will help us get back on track with our workout routines. Come dressed to workout, inside or outside for this one hour Zoom call.

    Look out for our workout programs for both 13thirty AYAs and Parents and stay connected with our site calendar!

  • virtual connections

    Virtual Connections

    Over the past six weeks, 13thirty Cancer Connect has been dedicated to creating virtual connections between both our Rochester and Syracuse AYA members. We know how difficult social distancing is for everyone, especially those who have been in isolation in the past to protect their health. We will continue to try our best at keeping our AYAs in touch and active with virtual programs until social distancing guidelines are updated. Here’s a look back on the month of April’s virtual programs.

    April’s Virtual Programs

    We started out with a check-in “Family Dinner” to see how everyone was doing with making adjustments to the new at-home world. It was a great chance for some of our Rochester and Syracuse members to meet. We tried our first virtual attempt at our group “power clap” tradition and we left room for improvement…

    We caught up with some of our teens with a Family Feud game night with our game show host, Program Director, Steve Esposito. A competitive game between our Rochester and Syracuse teams left the score tight, but Syracuse took the win in the last round!

    Our young adults joined us for a happy hour and game of “guess who” that led to lots of laughs as our members asked twenty questions trying to guess which person or character they were while getting to know each other better.

    virtual connections

    Keeping in mind that gyms are closed, we offered a workout program with our Syracuse trainer, Michelle. Her 13 workouts in 30 minutes was just what we needed!

    Finally, we wrapped up the month with a Netflix Party where we watched The Fundamentals of Caring followed by a Zoom chat to discuss the film that included some special appearances from our members’ pets.

    Hopefully our traditional power clap at the end of programs continues to improve! Check out the May Calendar on both the Rochester and Syracuse program pages. RSVP with Megan or Steve today!

  • 13thirty Fit!

    13thirty Fit!

    Program of the Month

    13thirty Fit!

    Every Wednesday for the last four weeks, parents of our teens and young adults have met at our Syracuse center for 13thirty Fit!, an eight-week program designed to help develop healthy workout habits easy enough to do at home without expensive equipment or gym fees. The program, led by our oncology-certified fitness coach, Michelle Dougan, from Elevate Fitness, includes personal goal setting and an hour-long workout each week. Everyone’s favorite songs from the 80’s keep us moving!

    On our third week, we shook things up in Syracuse and invited parents to bring their kids to the program that night. Partner workouts proved to be just as challenging and even more fun than our usual workout routines. A little friendly competition between our parents and kids made us try even harder! Like all 13thirty Cancer Connect programs, peer support is an important element of our fitness programs. Working out with someone can motivate you to work out more often and stay accountable to your goals.

     

    13thirty Fit! History

    13thirty Fit! has been offered at our Rochester center to AYA members and parents since 2012 when it was first designed as part of a research study at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. The goal was simple and still the same: help AYAs regain their former level of fitness and self-confidence in a safe, judgement-free environment. In both Rochester and Syracuse, 13thirty Fit! is held in our warm, comfortable center with friends who understand what it’s like and fitness coaches who can modify exercises to accommodate individual needs.

    Assessment data collected from participants before and after each program consistently point to improved functional fitness and enhanced self-efficacy. Periodic “Quick Fit” sessions held throughout the year supplement the eight-week program and help remind members to keep working on their fitness goals.

    Work out with us again!

    Remember, the Syracuse fitness room is available for individual workouts during regular office hours for both AYAs and parents! Just bring your signed medical release form and call Megan ahead of time at (315) 883-1862. Here’s how to find us! Find out what else is going on in Syracuse here.

    Interested in 13thirty Fit! – Rochester? Contact Rochester Program Director, Steve Esposito, for more information at 595-563-6221 or visit us!