13thirty Cancer Connect – In the News

For media inquiries and collaborations, contact Caroline Seaberg at!
Not sure how to use our name in media? We’re “13thirty Cancer Connect” – “13” is a number, “thirty” spelled out with a lowercase “t” and “Cancer Connect” with uppercase letters! Thank you!
Need photos? Here are some options: Lauren Spiker (Founder & Executive Director), Rochester Center, Syracuse Center, peer programs, AYA members – please feel free to contact Caroline Seaberg for more current photos/videos if needed!


Local Event Brings Awareness to Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer
April 4, 2023
April is adolescent and young adult cancer awareness month. To honor the 90,000 young people diagnosed with the disease each year, landmarks around the region will be lit up green and blue.

Local Non-Profit Recognizes Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month
April 3, 2023
A series of support initiatives were announced at Monday’s kickoff event that was aiming to meet a unique challenge that young adults face in their cancer journey. Founder of 13Thirty, Lauren Spiker, says that this specific group is often under-served.

Bringing Awareness to Children and Young Adults with Cancer
April 4, 2023
Banding together in the fight to find a cure, and help the countless lives impacted by cancer. 13thirty Cancer Connect joined the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and local businesses Monday to kick off Cancer Awareness Month at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.


13thirty Cancer Connect Hosting 10th Annual Bandana Bolt
June 3, 2022
13thirty Cancer Connect’s 10th Annual Bandana Bolt 5K and Team Relay is coming up this weekend.

Rochester Community Comes Together for 13thirty Cancer Connect
April 7, 2022
13thirty Cancer Connect Executive Director and founder Lauren Spiker and Rochester Center Manager Stephen Esposito joined Good Day Rochester to discuss how they’re raising awareness for the challenges that young cancer survivors face and how the community is coming together to support the initiative.

AYA Cancer Awareness Month Press Conference
April 4, 2022
13thirty Cancer Connect, Monroe County, City of Rochester, and Local Businesses Kick-Off AYA Cancer Awareness Month!


Talk About the Elephant (Talk About Cancer Podcast with Serena Hu)
October 21, 2021
Lauren shared what it was like to follow her daughter Melissa’s lead in having open conversations about end-of-life wishes, which gave Lauren a path forward during grief and led to the founding of 13thirty Cancer Connect to support thousands of AYA cancer patients.

USA Today Network awards thousands to 4 Upstate New York Nonprofits
October 5, 2021
Four Upstate New York nonprofit organizations have each been awarded at least $5,000 through A Community Thrives, a grant-making and crowd-funding program from the USA Today Network.

Grassroots group helps teens, young adults battle cancer
October 4, 2021
It all started with a promise between a mother and her daughter. As Melissa Sengbusch battled acute myeloid leukemia from 1998 to 2000, she told her mother, Lauren Spiker, that “if you have learned anything from me through all of this, do something with it to make a difference – to make things better.”

Episode 39: 13thirty Cancer Connect with Lauren Spiker and Steve Esposito (That Sounds Terrific Podcast with Nick Koziol)
September 9, 2021
Teens and young adults have many challenges in this world. They are starting things like high school, college, and their first real job. The stress of peer pressure alone can be enough to make some crumble. Add a cancer diagnosis and this group can often find themselves isolated and unsure of where to turn.

Gannett’s Community Thrives grans can help nonprofits in Rochester
August 1, 2021
13thirty Cancer Connect and Hope Hall School have applied for the annual Gannett Foundation’s A Community Thrives annual grant-making and crowdfunding program. The nonprofits each have begun fundraising campaigns that will continue through August 13.

Coping with Cancer Magazine Exclusive National Cancer Survivors Day 2021 Coverage
July 28, 2021
Founder Lauren Spiker and board president and 13thirty parent Charlie Cote strike a pose before 13thirty Cancer Connect’s Annual Bandana Bolt 5K at Seneca Park on National Cancer Survivors Day.

The New IT Podcast
May 26, 2021
Chuck Ray from Nazareth College discusses the journey of keeping the show on the road amidst the course of a pandemic. And in our nonprofit spotlight, we feature Lauren Spiker from 13thirty Cancer Connect, a local organization focusing on helping young adults with cancer, lead their best lives.

Mindex Helps Support Teens and Young Adults Fighting Cancer with Donation Pledge to 13thirty Cancer Connect
May 6, 2021
Mindex, a local Rochester technology leader in software development and professional services, has pledged a generous donation to 13thirty Cancer Connect and their programs helping teens and young adults with cancer live their best lives.

Offering support for young adults with cancer
April 19, 2021
Approximately 82,000 young people are impacted by cancer, and they fall into a gap. They are not considered pediatric cases, or they’re not quite in that older demographic. 13thirty Cancer Connect steps in, focusing on offering support and resources to adolescents and young adults.

One of 13WHAM’s own shaving head to help 13thirty Cancer Connect
January 21, 2021
One of 13WHAM’s own is shaving his head for a good cause. Steve Synesael is raising money to benefit 13thirty Cancer Connect, which supports young people affected by cancer. Steve joined us on Good Day Rochester before and after shaving his head to explain why it’s important to him.


Rochester Fire Department 2021 calendar proceeds to benefit 13thirty Cancer Connect
December 17, 2020
The Rochester Fire Department is giving back to a local organization that helps teens and young adults battling cancer. They’re selling calendars again this year and the proceeds go to 13thirty Cancer Connect.

Firefighters’s personal story connects calendar to cause
December 11, 2020
The Rochester Fire Department is heating things up again with their 2021 calendar. The new calendar supports a cause close to the heart of one firefighter. You will find firefighter Jim Blaesi’s story inside the cover of the new RFD Calendar.

Syracuse Cancer Support Groups Form Alliance in Hopes of ‘Serving Community Better’
November 25, 2020
New York moms Lauren Spiker and Frieda Weeks share the grief of losing a child to cancer. This month, Spiker, Weeks and other cancer support organizations launched a new partnership to pool resources. The group is called CNY Cancer Alliance. 

Rochester cancer fundraiser nearly doubles initial goal
May 22, 2020
One local cancer fundraiser has nearly doubled its initial goal. 13thirty Cancer Connect launched its $20K / 20 Day Challenge fundraiser at the start of the month to celebrate 20 years of making a difference.

13thirty celebrates 20 years of connecting young people battling cancer
May 7, 2020
Melissa Sengbusch was a high school senior when she received the devastating news that she had a rare bone marrow malignancy, becoming another statistic in the fight against childhood cancer.
Not a Rochester Business Journal subscriber? View the article here.

13thirty Cancer Connect: Empowering Young Adults with Cancer
January 22, 2020
After her daughter’s passing in 2001, Lauren Spiker founded 13thirty in Rochester, NY with Melissa’s request in mind. The nonprofit organization provides support to young people with cancer through programs and events.

Rochester Nonprofit 13thirty Cancer Connect turns 20
January 20, 2020
A local nonprofit with the mission of helping teens and young adults battling cancer celebrated a huge milestone Monday. When 13thirty Cancer Connect started decades ago, the first pancake breakfast took place in founder Lauren Spiker’s kitchen.



Rochester-Area Officers Grow Beards for Cancer Patients and Fallen Officer Manny Ortiz
December 30, 2019
Officers from the Rochester Police Locust Club and other area law enforcement personnel grew beards through November as part of a unique fundraiser called Beards for Bucks. Officers were allowed to grow facial hair for a good cause. Adam Devincentis, secretary of the Rochester Police Locust Club, says officers are not normally allowed to grow beards while on duty and in uniform.

Local law enforcement agencies help the fight against cancer
December 10, 2019
Two Central New York law enforcement agencies came together for Cops Against Cancer to stand as a community in the fight against cancer. The Syracuse Police Department donated proceeds from their Pink Shield October and No Shave November efforts to 13thirty Cancer Connect while the Liverpool Police Department participated in Beards for Bucks. That’s a joint fundraiser that supports teen and young adult programs at 13thirty Cancer Connect and helps with critical cancer research at Roswell Park.

13thirty Cancer Connect opens Syracuse-area location
July 11, 2019
A Rochester-based organization that helps adolescents and young adults with cancer live their best lives has now opened a Syracuse-area location. 13thirty Cancer Connect has been home to hundreds of teens and young adults with cancer since 2001.

USA TODAY NETWORK awards thousands to local nonprofits, including 13thirty Cancer Connect
July 11, 2019
Rochester nonprofit 13thirty Cancer Connect has been awarded $44,000 through A Community Thrives, a grant-making and crowd-funding program from the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Community center for teens, young adults with cancer opens doors to Syracuse location
July 8, 2019
A new resource for teens and young adults diagnosed with cancer is coming to Syracuse this month, and it is dedicated to two teens who found support when they needed it most.


Benefit concert focused on teens and young adults living with cancer
December 30, 2018
Anthology hosted a very special concert on Sunday, geared specifically towards helping teens and young adults with cancer live their best lives. Eight bands representing the best of the Rochester music scene, in addition to raffles made possible by area businesses were all a part of a vision by the organizer, Charlie Cote.

Supporting the ‘lost tribe:’ 13thirty Cancer Connect awarded $25,000 grant from Gannett
August 1, 2018
The nonprofit received a $25,000 A Community Thrives grant from Gannett to be used for operating costs. After the organization raised $57,000 in a crowdfunding campaign, 13thirty was one of the four fan favorites selected in a 2018 contest.

13thirty fills the gap
April 5, 2018
13thirty Cancer Connect is hoping to secure a large grant to assist its mission of helping teens and young adults diagnosed with cancer find peer support.


RPD officers shave beards to support kids fighting cancer
November, 30, 2017
You may have seen stories about going Bald for Bucks. 
But what about Beards for Bucks? Rochester Police officers had their beards shaved Thursday to raise money for 13thirty Cancer Connect.

13thirty Cancer Connect supports teens, young adults with cancer
July 30, 2017
Walls of vivid blue with bright orange, deep red, and lime green accents greet visitors to 13thirty Cancer Connect, a support group for teens and young adults living with cancer. 

Bald for Bucks raising money to help young people with cancer
March 7, 2017
Senior Mel White accepted the role of the Brockport coordinator of Goin’ Bald For Bucks, a fundraising campaign which accepts donations for the organization 13thirty, an organization which focuses on a demographic of cancer patients between the ages of 13 and 30.


Parkhill honored for work with 13thirty Cancer connect
November 10, 2016
Dr. Amy Parkhill, associate professor in the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy, was honored with the Make a Difference Award from 13thirty Cancer Connect, a regional non-profit that provides support for adolescents and young adults impacted by cancer. 

Flaherty’s charity golf tournament raises $5,000 for 13thirty Cancer Connect
September 22, 2016
This year’s Flaherty’s Charity Golf tournament held at the Lima Golf and Country Club, July 10th was a huge success with donations adding up to $5000 to be donated to 13thirty Cancer Connect.

13thirty shines light on young people fighting cancer
September 14, 2016
About 300 people attended an exclusive screening event hosted by 13thirty Cancer Connect at St. John Fisher College Wednesday night. 13thirty is a support group for adolescents and young adults.

Fairport woman relates to inspirational cancer documentary coming to Rochester
September 3, 2016
Cat Gawronski, 23, was in the middle of her second year of college last year when she began feeling really sick. “I remember having a cough starting in January right after my birthday, actually, of that year and people kept telling me ‘you’re fine, it’s just a virus,’ you know, ‘you’re a college student, you’re going to get better, you’re just not resting enough,’ but I kind of felt like deep down that something was really wrong,” Gawronski said.

Thousands run in Color Run for 13thirty Cancer Connect
May 21, 2016
Thousands of runners got doused in color in Saturday’s color run at Frontier Field. The color run Tropicolor World Tour incorporates color, scents, the shade of palm trees, and island-style music with a 5k. 

Nonprofit serving young adult and teen cancer survivors expands
May 12. 2016
A local nonprofit that provides support for young people battling cancer is expanding its mission. 13thirty Cancer Connect is the new name of the organization that used to be known as Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation.

Inaugural Kick Cancer 15K Race Series
May 12, 2016
Three cancer charities are teaming up for the Inaugural Kick Cancer 15K Race Series. 13thirty Cancer Connect, Anna’s Wish and Christopher’s Challenge will each hold a 5K race.