Our Mission

Stupid Cancer helps to empower
everyone affected by adolescent and
young adult (AYA) cancer by ending
isolation and building community.

Stupid Cancer helps to empower everyone affected by adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer by ending isolation and building community.

Our Vision

Everyone in the AYA community is supported, understood, and accepted.

Our Core Values

1. We are an interconnected community, including EVERYONE affected by AYA cancer, where all experiences are honored, celebrated, and seen.

2. We believe that all people should receive equal access to quality, holistic cancer care no matter their diagnosis, location, means, age, race/ethnicity, ability, sexuality, or gender.

3. We empower our community with comprehensive resources and support.

4. We support the AYA community by addressing the real life hurdles that come with cancer as a young person and advocate for change where traditional support systems fall short.

5. We connect with our community with an honest, unapologetic voice.

6. Our programming is innovative and socially responsive.

Our History


In the nineties, when Stupid Cancer founder Matthew Zachary was diagnosed with a pediatric brain cancer at 21 years old, cancer resources for young adults were few and far between, and ‘surviving’ meant living beyond five years. Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer programs did not exist and often patients were treated as kids or older adults, failing to acknowledge the unique life stage of AYAs. 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 him, his wife, brother, and parents would have the opportunity to benefit from community and support resources they only wished they had in 1995.

In the years since its founding, through its innovative, award-winning, and evidence-based programs and services, Stupid Cancer has become the leader in the adolescent and young adult cancer space. The landscape for AYA cancer has changed dramatically over the last decade, in large part due to the work of Stupid Cancer. Although there are more resources for AYAs than ever before, the isolation of AYA cancer patients persists.

Looking ahead, Stupid Cancer envisions a world where everyone in the AYA community is supported, understood, and accepted.

Stupid Cancer is here to be the rallying point and leader in building the AYA cancer community, ending isolation, and making cancer suck less.

One of our major projects in the last couple of years was the Stupid Cancer Show, which featured stories from survivors, patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals from the AYA community. You can catch all of the past episodes below.

The Stupid Cancer Show

AYA Cancer Stats

Young adults can and do get cancer. Most people don’t even consider that an 18-year-old could be diagnosed. Or a 25-year-old. Or a 37-year-old. Help us change this stigma and spread the word that our generation deserves better. The world needs to be aware that we exist…and that we matter.​

✓ Each year, 89,500 adolescents and young adults aged 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer.

✓ Cancer incidence in young adults has increased more than any other age group.

✓ Survival rates have not improved at the same rate as other age groups.

✓ Cancer is the number one disease killer in young adults.

✓ Young adults are the most underserved patient population by age.

✓ Delayed cancer diagnosis is disproportionately higher in young adults.

source: NCI SEER Data, 2015

Make a Donation

With your help, Stupid Cancer can continue to make the lives of AYA cancer patients and survivors suck less so that they can Get Busy Living.

Because the truth is, we can’t do any of this without you.


“All of us at Stupid Cancer remain committed to empowering all AYAs impacted by cancer and advocating for equitable access to health care. Moving forward we will be even more deliberate in ensuring we best use our resources to amplify the needs of every single individual within our community, and work to minimize the evident disparities across diverse populations, ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy life, to get busy living.”

Read a statement from Alison Silberman, Stupid Cancer CEO here.