History & Mission

history & mission“If you have learned anything from me through all of this, do something with it to make a difference – to make things better.”


These words spoken by a dying 19 year old girl to her mother just days before her death became her last request and her lasting legacy for all teens with cancer, and inspired the establishment of 13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc., initially named Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation.


13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in 2001 following the death of Melissa Sengbusch who was 19 years old when she died of acute myeloid leukemia. Since its beginning (first called Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation), 13thirty has become an internationally known and respected leader in the field of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer because of our strong passion, clear vision, and steadfast commitment to a singular focus – teens and young adults with cancer.

Unlike many other cancer support organizations, we concentrate our efforts and resources on a targeted national problem that affects approximately 82,000 young people in the United States each year. As Melissa asked of her mom, we are making a difference. We are making things better for teens and young adults with cancer around the world.

Mission, Vision, Values

The MISSION of 13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc. is to help adolescents and young adults (AYAs) impacted by cancer live their very best lives – today!

  • Our resources help AYAs enhance their coping skills and self-esteem by building satisfying peer connections, learning to self-advocate, and developing effective self-management tools for long-term health.
  • A comprehensive continuum of support (from diagnosis and treatment to healthy survivorship or if necessary, end-of-life) helps AYAs with cancer successfully transition through each stage of their cancer experience.
  • We advocate strongly for improved delivery of medical and educational services through clinician education initiatives and outreach to schools and universities.
  • Together with our strategic partners, we work to increase access to age-appropriate care for all AYA patients and survivors with concentrated focus on improving survivorship (early detection, health maintenance and follow-up care).

Our VISION is that every teen and young adult with cancer “connects” with 13thirty. We strive to incorporate our VALUES into every program and each personal interaction:


Medical Disclaimer

Information on this Website is provided “as is” for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs.

13thirty Cancer Connect encourages Internet users to be cautious when using medical information. If you are unsure about your medical condition, consult a physician. Although we carefully review our content, the Foundation cannot guarantee nor take responsibility for the medical accuracy of documents we publish, nor can it assume any liability for the content of Web sites linked to our site.

Privacy Policy

13thirty Cancer Connect is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all online users. This web site provides a range of opportunities to interact with us and others online. These include but are not limited to online activities and services as well as online contributions and purchases.

We strive to develop new resources that will make this website more meaningful to our users and need your feedback and participation to achieve this goal. Individual identifying information provided to us will be maintained in strict confidence. This includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, credit card information and information about online activities that are directly linked to you. The Foundation does not divulge individual identifying information submitted to us to outside individuals or organizations except: as authorized by you (making credit card purchases/donations through our site) and as required by law.

Statistical summary information is used to help us focus our resources and in planning new services and products. To protect your privacy, any publicly released information is completely anonymous.

Information Practices with regard to Children under the age of 13

If you are under 13 years of age, you should not provide any personally identifiable information on this site without the knowledge and permission of your parent or legal guardian. If we learn that you are under 13 years of age, we will not maintain or use any personally identifiable information about you without the verifiable consent of your parent or guardian, except as allowed by law.

In some circumstances, we ask visitors to this site to provide us with contact information on their parent or guardian. We use this information solely for the purpose of notifying the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13 of our information practices with respect to children, to notify that person of a child’s participation on this site, and/or to seek the consent of the parent or guardian to such participation.

13thirty Cancer Connect is continually working to provide the most effective, useful resources for 13thirty Cancer Connect and strives to safeguard your confidentiality and privacy while using the resources we offer. If you have any questions regarding our Privacy Policy, please contact us at:

Internet Safety

13thirty Cancer Connect strives to make the 13thirty Cancer Connect website as informative and safe as possible for all its users. To that end, we constantly monitor all website activity and retain the right to delete any and all content deemed inappropriate and contrary to our mission of supporting, educating and connecting teens with cancer.

Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to register as members of 13thirty either through our on-line registration procedure or via Facebook Connect. (see information policy on children under 13).

Despite our best efforts to protect all users, we can not guarantee that this site will be free of illegal, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate material or that 13thirty users will not encounter inappropriate conduct by others. Should you see any offensive content submitted by members or be subjected to any unwelcome conduct, immediately send an email to our site administer at We will respond with appropriate action within 24 hours.

We encourage all parents of teens under the age of 18 to talk with their teen about internet safety and to consider if supervision when on-line is necessary and appropriate.

Safety Tips:

  1. Report all suspicious behavior or inappropriate content immediately to the 13thirty administrator .
  2. Never share your password with anyone.
  3. Allow access to your profile information to only those individuals you know and/or can trust.
  4. Never provide personal information such as home address or telephone number that can be used to identify or locate you off-line.
  5. Disallow access to anyone who sends you unsolicited and unwelcomed communications.
  6. Never agree to meet an on-line friend alone and without appropriate safeguards.