Rochester is internationally known for its world-class medical facilities, cutting-edge research centers and compassionate providers who have dedicated their life’s work to the treatment of both pediatric and adult cancers. Of course, cancer doesn’t just affect the patient’s physical health; it also takes an enormous emotional toll. The aim of C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Association is to complement medical care by providing emotional, social, and financial assistance for all members of the family.

Since 1976, C.U.R.E. has been the only organization in the Rochester area that focuses on meeting the non-medical needs of children who have cancer or a chronic blood disorder. Its Parent Advocacy program is a nationally recognized model and has been instrumental in developing similar peer-to-peer initiatives around the country.

C.U.R.E. has evolved and developed over the decades, but its focus on helping families has never wavered. Here are some of the highlights of our history.


Bereaved parents who had lost children to cancer begin meeting regularly for support and camaraderie. Thanks to the efforts of founding members Judi and John Sturges, it isn’t long before C.U.R.E. is incorporated as a charitable organization.


C.U.R.E. raises funds to purchase a microscope for the pediatric oncology department at Strong Memorial Hospital, so that children’s blood work and cancer research can be conducted onsite.

Judi Sturge with Melissa Sturge and Nancy Sewell have first fundraising event for C.U.R.E. selling booster buttons for $1.00.

Judi Sturge with Melissa Sturge and Nancy Sewell have first fundraising event for C.U.R.E. selling booster buttons for $1.00.

That same year, C.U.R.E. publishes the Parent/Child handbook.

Late 1970s

A C.U.R.E. Room at Strong, stocked with toys and games donated by Fisher-Price, becomes a popular destination for children undergoing treatment and their families to play, laugh, and have fun together.

Early 1980s

C.U.R.E. establishes its educational liaison program, designed to assist children with developmental and educational needs.

The first-ever First Morton Family Fun Day, now an annual event, gives C.U.R.E. families a chance to enjoy fall activities.


C.U.R.E. pilots its Parent Advocate program, allowing parents of newly diagnosed children to benefit from the guidance, empathy, perspective, and practical advice of peers who have walked a similar path.


The Agnes K. Mackey Memorial Fund begins providing financial assistance for families affected by cancer and blood disorders.


C.U.R.E. opens a family resource center at its University Avenue office.


C.U.R.E. Connections, a network of peer support that provides outreach to families with children in all stages of treatment, is established.


The first national Parent Advocate workshop is hosted by C.U.R.E. Closer to home, the organization sponsors its now-annual Motorcycle Poker Run.


As we enter a new millennium, C.U.R.E. comes home to its current location at 200 Westfall Road.

The next year, C.U.R.E. stakes its claim in cyberspace with a website.


C.U.R.E. marks 25 years of helping local families cope with a diagnosis of cancer or blood disorders by throwing a gala at the Crowne Plaza.


The Julie Roberts Children’s Memorial Garden is dedicated.


After seeing firsthand how cancer treatment can interfere with normal intellectual and educational development, Linda Bolan establishes C.U.R.E.’s Boost Tutoring program.


C.U.R.E. teams up with the American Culinary Federation: Rochester’s Professional Chefs and Cooks Association to host the first annual Recipe for a C.U.R.E. Brunch.


Phillip’s Gift Pediatric Palliative Care Program is founded, enabling seriously ill children to receive palliative care and pain relief at home.


The Angel Fund program helps support C.U.R.E. families in financial need.


ROC CITY Sicklers, a dedicated sickle cell disease support group, is established under the aegis of C.U.R.E.


C.U.R.E.’s Patient/Parent Organizer, a practical system to help families organize important documents as they embark on their cancer journey, makes its debut.