How to participate
  1. Those touched by cancer are invited to create a profile page describing their twist on cancer: lessons learned, fighting strategies, and new perspectives.
  2. Then, you issue a call for support from the community that is meaningful to your cancer journey.
  3. This task must be easily accomplished and documented by supporters using written word, photography or video. As supporters submit their responses, the profile becomes a collection of personalized tributes meant to provide comfort, inspiration, and hope.

Calls to Action of the Twist Out Cancer Community

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If you have been touched by cancer- share your twist on cancer ( lessons learned, fighting strategies, new perspective) by creating a profile and submitting your response  to this video. 

If you are an artist looking to participate in our event please contact Jenna@twisotutcancer.org for more information.

Join us in Chicago this April for Brushes with Cancer- celebrating survivorship and hope through art, music and storytelling. Details soon to follow.  Check out last year's recap video to learn more about this special event. 

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My name is Khitam Masoud, and I was diagnosed with Vulvar Cancer at the age of 26 in 2007.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had noticed a skin color change in the form of several dark spots and was tested for HPV. The results came back to be a very high grade, high risk strand of HPV, and I was referred to an oncologist. He then did another biopsy and the results showed that I had developed Stage 1 Vulvar Cancer from certain strands of HPV.  Within the month, I was scheduled for a partial vaginectomy, partial vulvectomy, leep/cone biopsy and a D&C.  I was so scared, and I had no one to talk to.  I had run away from home at the age of 16 because my parents wanted to force me into an arranged marriage and haven’t spoken with any of them since 1998. I had my friends from work who became my family, but it wasn’t the same. I felt isolated and alone and spent three-to-four days in the hospital by myself in my DARK thoughts. I had no idea what to expect during or after cancer.

I joined Imerman Angels as a mentor and runner of Team IA in 2012 with the goal of making sure that no one would have to go through cancer alone like I DID.  As an Imerman Angel Mentor, I was recently matched with a woman close to my age and fighting through a very similar cancer.  My mentee and I have become great friends, and I’ve been able to support her through her recent hysterectomy and radiation due to her Stage 2 Vaginal Cancer. She has as supportive family, but having a mentor to talk to who has faced this journey has made a huge impact for her.  I went to her doctor’s appointments with her and have met with her at least once a week to offer support. Her journey has become a part of my journey. We discuss things that we normally couldn’t discuss with our friends and family who never went through cancer & JUST DON'T GET IT.

After my surgery in MAY 2007, I wanted to get active and become healthier. The first race I ran in Chicago gave me so much confidence, and every race I’ve run since has been for charity. My mentee and I just finished her first 5K together. I’m so proud of my mentee and so grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization.  I feel that being a mentor has been more rewarding for me than anything else I have ever done in my life. I have found myself and have grown in so many ways as I’ve faced this journey.  Speaking at events and meeting new cancer patients when I’m volunteering has helped spread so much awareness in our community.  I felt that I had spent my whole childhood being prepped for marriage and becoming a stay home mother!!!  

 

I STOPPED CARING ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT AND ONLY CARED ABOUT WHAT I WANTED!!!! I lovvvvvve colors, ALL OF THEM!!!!! So I wear as many different colors as I possibly can and I don't care if I ever match or not!! I started working out and challenging myself physically with my Trainer Mike Nickles at Equinox. I just finished my 29th race this past Jan. 2013 and training for my first FULL Marathon with Team IMERMAN ANGELS and a HALF IRONMAN !!!!! I started making more time for ME by taking YOGA 4-5 times a week with Allison English. 

This past August of 2012, I went to see a Dermatologist for the first time in my life thank to a very special person in my life advising me to do so as a healthy annual routine.  I found out that I had Stage 1 Melanoma on the back of my right leg.  This time around, the cancer hit me DEEP and HARDER emotionally.  I was very thankful to have already be involved with Imerman Angels and Jonny Imerman became not only a very special & close friend in my life but he also helped me get through this journey, NOT ALONE. 

 

 

 

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Jeremy Balkin is a financier and social entrepreneur from Sydney, Australia. He is also Founder of Give While You Live (www.givewhileyoulive.com) an educational and fundraising vehicle aimed at inspiring super wealthy people to embrace Philanthropy. Since losing a close family member to Cancer in 2002, Jeremy has been on a mission to beat this disease and has raised significant money and awareness to support others fighting the battle. Jeremy is an Ambassador for LIVESTRONG and was part of a team that raised $1m in 2010 by running the New York Marathon. In 2012, Jeremy was invited to attend the prestigious ROI Summit hosted by the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Foundation as a forum for a select group of social entrepreneurs and change agents from around the world. At the Summit he was introduced to TwistOut Cancer Founder Jenna Benn and was inspired when she did 'The Twist' in front of 300 people after giving a tear jerking speech about her life journey. Balkin and Benn became friends at the Summit and since that time have been strategizing a range of ideas to raise the international profile of TwistOut Cancer. "Jenna Benn is one of life's rare people. Meet her and you leave feeling like you're a better person." - Jeremy Balkin Jeremy Balkin is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in the Banking and Capital Markets Group and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, Masters in Applied Finance from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a completed the Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century Course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Follow my journey to Chicago find me on twitter @jbapex To Support my campaign click here: www.twistoutcancer.org/donate

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Twist out Cancer I was "twisted" by cancer five years ago. The diagnosis of epithelial myoepithelial carcinoma in my right parotid gland in 2007 was most definitely an “unexpected change in the routine” of my life! I recoiled from the term “cancer” and twisted my being into a knot of fear. Seven weeks of radiation turned my body inside out. The turnaround came with the connection to an Imerman Angels mentor. Tim was able to twist my fear into hope. Two “threads,” a fighter and a survivor, became a team twisted into a single thread of trust and optimism. By example, Tim helped me to recognize the many blessings that come with a journey such as this. Much like a bone marrow transplant recipient, I feel like I had a new birthday on the day I finished the radiation treatments. That twisted and tortuous road was behind me! I acquired a new focus on every today and an ability to tune into the powerful connections that are - and already were -around me. A significant impact has been the creation of Cranbrook Envisions a Cure, a fund-raiser that I co-created with another friend/survivor. To date, over $28,000.00 has been raised for various cancer charities and support groups. The pain of my cancer journey was truly twisted into a positive! The stories of the fighters and survivors I meet and the proactive spins they have been able to put on their lives are inspiring. I’ve learned from talking to/being with them what Maya Angelou put into words:  “I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.  I’ve learned that even when I have pain, I don’t need to be one.  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw some things back.  I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn.” I am humbled to be a member of the NED Club (No Evidence of Disease) and the recipient of such a priceless education. Cec

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Let's make sure that every person fighting cancer alone is able to find a survivor who BEAT the same thing! Support, encouragement, help and HOPE is what we survivors can provide!
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Twist on Cancer I was twisted by cancer five years ago. The diagnosis of epithelial myoepithelial carcinoma in my right parotid gland in 2007 was most definitely an “unexpected change in the routine” of my life! I recoiled from the term “cancer” and twisted my being into a knot of fear. Seven weeks of radiation turned my body inside out. The turnaround came with the connection to an Imerman Angels mentor. Tim was able to transform my fear into hope. Two “threads,” a fighter and a survivor, became a team twisted into a single thread of trust and optimism. By example, Tim helped me to recognize the many blessings that come with a journey such as this. Much like a bone marrow transplant recipient, I feel like I had a new birthday on the day I finished the radiation treatments. That twisted and tortuous road was behind me! I acquired a new focus on every today and an ability to tune into the powerful connections that are, and always were, around me. A significant impact has been the creation of Cranbrook Envisions a Cure, a fund-raiser that I co-created with another friend/survivor. To date, over $28,000.00 has been raised in four years for various cancer charities and support groups. The pain of my cancer journey was truly twisted into a positive! The stories of the fighters and survivors I meet and the proactive spins they have been able to put on their lives during and and after cancer are inspiring. I’ve learned from talking to/being with them what Maya Angelou put into words:  “I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.  I’ve learned that even when I have pain, I don’t need to be one.  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw some things back.  I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn.” I am humbled to be a member of the NED Club (No Evidence of Disease) and the recipient of such a priceless education.

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If you are a survivor- share your twist on cancer ( lessons learned, fighting strategies, new perspective) by responding to this video. If you are an artist looking to participate in our event please contact Jenna@twisotutcancer.org for more information. Join us on April 17, 2013 for the Twist Out Cancer benefit that celebrates survivor-ship and hope through art, music and storytelling. To learn more about the event http://www.twistoutcancer.org/brushes-cancer

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