Each year, 72,000 young adults (ages 15-39) are diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. That’s one every eight minutes. This neglected group faces age-specific challenges - such as, infertility, loss of identity and independence, lack or loss of insurance, increased isolation, and stalled career development - with limited resources.
Stupid Cancer a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the leader in young adult cancer advocacy, research, and support. We create shared experiences by producing life-changing live events and digital content that end isolation, build community, provide education, and foster meaningful relationships that last a lifetime. Our mission is to empower, support, and improve health outcomes for the young adult cancer community.
Mission / Vision / Charter
Our mission is to empower, support, and improve health outcomes for the young adult cancer community.
Our vision is to democratize access, navigation and dignity for the young adult cancer community.
Our charter is to ensure that the young adult cancer community is never unaware of the age-appropriate support resources it needs to get busy living.
Stupid Cancer was born out of an inequity. In 1995, at the age of 21, concert pianist, composer, and college senior Matthew Zachary was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. He was told he would likely not survive six months, let alone perform again. Matthew and his family were thrust into a cancer landscape much different than today.
The Internet was in its infancy, cancer resources for young adults were few and far between, and 'surviving' meant living beyond five years. Although Matthew and his family were offered comfort through a small, fragmented community, they were not able to benefit from many of today's survivorship resources. Like millions of other families, they had to go it on their own and hope for the best.
In 2004, Matthew founded Steps For Living (which became I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation in 2007 and then Stupid Cancer in 2012), a progressive social enterprise that linked his worlds of music, cancer advocacy, consumer health marketing and technology to ensure that people like he, his wife, brother, and parents would have the opportunity to benefit from community and support resources they only wished they had in 1995.
Stupid Cancer was named a TIME Magazine Best 50 Website in 2007, a Top 10 Healthcare Blog by FOX News and "the dominant youth cancer nonprofit" by MTV in 2010 , and accredited by the Washington Post as "an unparalleled resource for cancer patients in their teens, 20s and 30s.”, in 2011.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Stupid Cancer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is now proudly the preeminent nonprofit organization that makes cancer suck less for those touched by young adult cancer.
Through its innovative, award-winning, and evidence-based programs and services, the organization serves as a global bullhorn to propel the young adult cancer movement forward.