WILL YOU HELP US AGAIN?
The past 2 years, 13thirty Cancer Connect has participated in the nation-wide fundraising competition, A Community Thrives, where hundreds of 13thirty Champions helped us become a 2X Fan Favorite and earn over $69,000 in grants over the 2 years! We need your help to win again!
13thirty Cancer Connect, first called Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation, was established in Rochester, NY following the death of Melissa Sengbusch in 2000 who was 19 years old when she died of acute myeloid leukemia. For the past 20 years, we’ve provided much needed peer support programs for young people with cancer to truly connect with others who “get it”. With clear vision, innovative resources, and steadfast commitment to our mission, 13thirty Cancer Connect has reached countless milestones and numerous historical accomplishments.
The past 2 years have been monumental for 13thirty Cancer Connect. We successfully opened a second Center in Syracuse, NY, expanded our reach across 17 New York State counties, grew our advocacy efforts and more, all with the help of many. We were moving fast, but with intention, and big things were on the horizon at 13thirty Cancer Connect for our 20th year.
A NEW NORMAL
As we all know, however, 2020 had other plans. Because of COVID-19, life was interrupted for many and plans were either put on hold or canceled. A ‘new normal’, something all too familiar for our teens and young adults, forced us, also, to adapt.
Since connecting with others in person was no longer a safe option, we effectively pivoted to virtual programs for our Rochester and Syracuse members without losing the magic that makes 13thirty Cancer Connect so special. The past few months, while troubling, have shown us how creative and resilient we can be when faced with great challenge. Following the example of the teens and young adults we support, we have weathered this period of uncertainty and emerged stronger and with new perspective.
Though this crisis has created a new reality for us all, we are stepping up to the challenge. We are seizing the opportunity to reimagine and retool the way we provide support to AYAs everywhere. Thanks to what we’ve learned about virtual connections, we are positioned to expand our reach far beyond geographical boundaries.
We are leaning into this ‘new normal’ and looking at what we do and how we do it under a new light. We are ready to ramp up our digital presence to make popular programs like 13thirty Fit! and our provider workshops more widely accessible. As soon as adequate funding is secured, we will be excited to expand our wellness programs with a focus on nutrition. A new multi-dimensional cooking program will be developed including cooking demonstrations in our newly renovated Rochester center kitchen, on-line video modules, and a cookbook designed to meet the specific needs of teens and young adults with cancer.
MISSION AND MOMENTUM
This continues to be a scary and uncertain time for all, especially our 13thirty members and their families who need our support more than ever right now. As we navigate through this unprecedented time when so many things are in flux, one thing will not change – our commitment to helping teens and young adults with cancer live their very best lives – today!
With our purpose grounding us, we will keep the momentum going. We can’t stop now – our mission is too important. But we can’t do it without you. We hope you will join us as we all enter this time of virtual connections together.
For 20 years, we have counted on the support of friends who believe in us and our mission. With your help, we are hoping to be a top fundraiser again this year. Let’s make it 3 years in a row!