Press Release



Contact: Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder and Executive Director of Twist Out Cancer


October 26, 2016, Philadelphia, PA….On Tuesday November, 29, 2016, Twist Out Cancer, PiperWai and WeWork will host the first annual Sock Hop at WeWork Northern Liberties, located at 1010 N. Hancock. Twist Out Cancer was founded in 2011, by Jenna Benn Shersher, a Grey Zone Lymphoma Survivor. TOC provides emotional support to cancer survivors and their loved ones through creative arts programming. This global community encourages anyone touched by cancer to connect, create, support, inspire and heal. Since its inception in 2011, TOC has touched over 73,000 through programs and events. A labor of love, TOC has a network of over 200 active volunteers serving as ambassadors in Chicago, Detroit, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Montreal and now Philadelphia. Jenna recently moved Twist Out Cancer’s headquarters from Chicago to WeWork in Northern Liberties.

PiperWai was founded by Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner in 2015. Piperwai is a charcoal cream deodorant that works naturally to absorb wetness and fight odor. As recent winners of Shark Tank, PiperWai has grown exponentially in the last few months. Guided by their desire to give back to the community, PiperWai is generously donating 10% of all proceeds raised during the month of October to Twist Out Cancer. Use the code TOC10 to purchase your very own PiperWai deodorant.

So what does a deodorant company and a cancer-focused nonprofit have in common? A lot actually. Cancer survivors are often concerned about what types of products they are putting on their bodies before, during and after treatment. A natural deodorant free of toxins and chemicals, allows them to feel safe and confident throughout their journey with cancer.The partnership between Twist Out Cancer and PiperWai happened because of WeWork. Working in such close proximity to one another, has allowed the driven, passionate founders to connect, and think outside of the box for new innovative ways to make an impact on the community. Twist Out Cancer and PiperWai is a natural partnership.

The Event

Starting at 6:30 pm participants will have a chance to learn about Twist Out Cancer’s programs and resources for the those touched by cancer. PiperWai Founders will discuss the importance of the partnership and present a check to Twist Out Cancer in honor of Giving Tuesday.

Music will be provided by Girls Rock Philly.

Date: November 29, 2016

Time: 5:30-8:00 pm

Tickets: Free for WeWork members, suggested $20.00 donation. All donations will be matched 100% due to a generous donor. Food and drinks will be provided. Purchase tickets online at the event website.

Location:We Work Northern Liberties, 1010 N. Hancock, Philadelphia, PA.

For media inquiries please contact Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder and Executive Director  of Twist Out Cancer.


Press Release: An Unexpected Friendship- Goes the Distance to Fight Cancer


CONTACT:  Jenna Benn

TO: Assignment Editors, Planning Editors, Community Calendars

An Unexpected Friendship – Goes the Distance to Fight Cancer


CONTACT:  Jenna Benn

TO: Assignment Editors, Planning Editors, Community Calendars

An Unexpected Friendship – Goes the Distance to Fight Cancer

Tuesday, October 1……At face value Jeremy Balkin from Sydney, Australia and Jenna Benn from Chicago, Illinois have nothing in common. Looking deeper, these two young Jewish social entrepreneurs separated by by 9500 miles (15000kms) share far more in common that their initials.

Jeremy Balkin is the Founder of Give While You Live, a foundation that was set up after surviving a life-changing near death extreme sports injury.  Over the last few years he has raised raised millions of dollars for causes around the world including Jewish non-profits and Cancer organizations. During his rehabilitation process after major surgery, Jeremy began running and like Forrest Gump just kept on going.

Jenna Benn is the Founder and Executive Director of Twist Out Cancer a non profit organization that provides psychosocial support to anyone touched by cancer. After months of intensive chemotherapy for Grey Zone Lymphoma, a rare type of blood cancer that affects less than 300 people in the United States, she managed to inspire over 40,000 people and counting.  As a young Jewish professional, Jenna has focused a great deal of her outreach to young Jewish adults who have felt isolated and alone through their experiences with cancer.

In June 2012, Balkin and Benn were invited to attend the prestigious ROI Summit for Jewish social entrepreneurs and change makers in Jerusalem hosted by the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Foundation.

The ROI Summit is an invitation-only gathering where delegates are selected and flown to Israel from all over the world with the Summit theme to “Connect & Create” leveraging ideas and networks for a better world.

These two young Jewish social entrepreneurs from opposite ends of the world met and became instant friends.  They instantly started to brainstorm and collaborate on ways to further propel Benn’s non-profit. After 18 months of careful planning these two passionate individuals crafted a strategy under heavy secrecy and many late night skype calls and emails to launch a Project to raise nationwide awareness for Twist Out Cancer.

“When I was going through cancer treatment I felt increasingly isolated and alone. Upon completion, I was determined to give back in a big way. In October 2011, just months after finishing treatment I established Twist Out Cancer (TOC) …a support community with a twist. TOC harnesses the power of personal connection and community to support those touched by cancer.  When I started this movement 2 years ago I never anticipated that it would grow so quickly. We have held events in Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and Chicago. Our hope is to continue to build our community of survivors and supporters and reach as many people as possible through our website, programs and events. The opportunity to share my story at the ROI summit in front of 300 young leaders was liberating and therapeutic.   I wholeheartedly believe that when you share the world opens up,” said Jenna Benn of the experience.

“Jenna is one of those people in life that you meet and leave feeling like you’re a better person” reflects Jeremy Balkin upon meeting Jenna.

On Sunday 13 October, Jeremy Balkin is flying halfway around the world to run the prestigious Chicago Marathon in honor of Twist Out Cancer with the ambition to raise the national profile of the charity and needed funds to promote volunteer programs.

“In 2008 my life changed as I was laying in a hospital bed not knowing what was next.”

“The second chance I was given made me devote my life to making the world better. Since then I established Give While You Live and have been blessed by the generosity of those around me.”

“In my rehabilitation I began to run and like Forrest Gump just kept going! Running is freedom and I’ve seen too many people close to me denied their freedom when cancer takes over.” reflects Jeremy Balkin

Chicago will complete the third of the prestigious Marathon Majors in the United States after Boston and New York for Balkin.

“We’re aiming to raise $1000 per mile ($26,200) to further support our amazing volunteer network in Chicago and expand across the rest of the United States” says Jenna Benn.

“My ambition is to help raise the national profile of Twist Out Cancer so that by year end 60,000 people can be touched by the amazing work Jenna has inspired.” says Jeremy Balkin

Lynn Schusterman, Chair, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network states, “We are deeply inspired by Jenna and Jeremy’s  leadership. We are proud that ROI could help spark their partnership, and we look forward to seeing it blossom and provide a model for others to work collaboratively across continents for positive change.”

Click here to donate and learn more about Jeremy Balkin’s Twist Out Cancer Campaign.

For more information contact Jenna Benn


Press Release- Brushes with Cancer


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            

CONTACT:  Jenna Benn

TO: Assignment Editors, Planning Editors,
Community Calendars

Twist Out Cancer Presents: Brushes with Cancer- Pairing Artists with Survivors to Create for a Cause

Chicago, IL, February 1, 2013…. On April 17, 2013, Twist Out Cancer will launch “Brushes with Cancer- Pairing Artists with Survivors to Create for a Cause.”  The fundraiser will feature original works of art using a variety of media inspired by survivors unique “twists on cancer.” The exhibition will feature 18 cancer survivors and 18 artists from across the country.

Brushes with Cancer will take place at Floating World Gallery in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The evening will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music and a keynote address from celebrity cancer survivor and winner of Survivor Africa, Ethan Zohn.  Additional speeches will be made by two time cancer survivor Jonny Imerman, Founder of Imerman Angels, Jenna Benn, Founder of Twist Out Cancer and Khitam Masoud, survivor of Vulvar and Melanoma cancer. Anthony Ponce, General Assignment Reporter at NBC5 will be the event’s emcee. Following the speeches the artwork will be auctioned off. All proceeds from the benefit will go towards furthering Twist Out Cancer’s mission.

Twist Out Cancer is a support community with a Twist.  Founded by 31-year-old Grey Zone Lymphoma cancer survivor Jenna Benn, Twist Out Cancer, an online support community that leverages social media to help cancer patients and their loved ones combat the feelings of isolation, loneliness and helplessness that often accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Twist Out Cancer is working to expand its reach, hoping to provide psychosocial support to an ever-larger community of cancer patients and their supporters in their times of need.

VIP tickets are available for $50.00 which includes a private meet and greet with the artists and survivors in addition to food and drink tickets.

Date:  April 17, 2013
Time:  6:00 VIP Reception, 7:00 General Admission.
Location: Floating World Gallery, 1925 N. Halsted St. Chicago, Illinois, 60614
Tickets:  VIP tickets are available for $75.00 which includes appetizers, unlimited open bar and a meet and greet with artists, survivors and keynote speakers. VIP ticket holders will also have a chance to place final bids on the art that is auctioned.
General admission tickets are available for purchase for $40.00 in advance which includes an open bar from 7:00-9:00 pm.
Student tickets are $20.00 with a valid student id.

To learn more about the event and to purchase tickets please go to Brushes with Cancer

Cheeky Chicago is the premier media sponsor for the event.  Founded in 2008 by young entrepreneurs Erica Bethe Levin and Jessica Zweig, is the ultimate go-to guide for women in the city of Chicago. Producing 35 articles each week and monthly events, Cheeky is known for its fresh perspective, inside scoop and hot tips on the city. With lifestyle topics that range from fashion and beauty to nutrition and fitness to real estate and office politics, provides women with a true community they can call home.

For media inquiries please contact Jenna Benn, Founder of Twist Out Cancer at


Campers fight cancer with creativity, social media

 Press Release

Media Contact

Rachel Ritter Smith

Jewish Community Center Chicago

Office: 847-763-3661

(October, 2012, Chicago, IL)—Campers at JCC Camp Chi in Wisconsin fought cancer creatively this past summer. Fifty Staff-in-Training (SIT) participated in a pilot curriculum based on the Twist Out Cancer (TOC) project. TOC is a virtual community founded by 30-year-old lymphoma survivor Jenna Benn, through which individuals affected by cancer create a profile distinguishing his or her individual “twist” on fighting cancer. This twist becomes a collection of videos, posts, songs, pictures, or other media gifted to the survivor by anyone who chooses to respond.

This past July, on a Saturday dedicated to the project, Benn engaged campers in a discussion about her fight with cancer, creating TOC, and how social media played a huge role in her persistent positive attitude. Before she got sick, Benn loved to dance; one day she posted a video of herself doing the twist and invited others to share their own videos. She got thousands of responses and realized the power of video to connect survivors and supporters.

Using the TOC Web-based platform, campers were challenged to respond to three survivors, to create a piece of art, to film a carefree, childhood moment, and to share their own inspiring stories. The SITs enthusiastically spent the day under Benn’s guidance, working together on their gifts. “They were not only willing to participate and give back in a meaningful way, they were motivated to continue to bring TOC’s message back to their respective communities,” said Benn.

“This program went above and beyond my expectations,” said Rachel Jacobsohn (SIT ’12). “Jenna was fantastic and inspiring. The entire group joined together with 110% effort to create meaningful answers for each challenge.”

“They experienced the importance of supporting those in need and have been inspired to continue this type of work,” said Jamie Lake, assistant director of JCC Camp Chi. Each summer, staff at JCC Camp Chi find new and creative ways to bring Jewish values to life through hands-on and meaningful activities. The TOC project embodied the Jewish value of caring for the sick, bikur cholim. SITs are no strangers to helping others; they have organized recycling, helped clean after the Lake Delton flood, and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, to name just a few of the many projects.

“We discussed that bikur cholim is a responsibility not only of an individual but of the community,” said Jacobsohn. The TOC project engages the community in bikur cholim through social media. Through that medium, Benn’s vision has touched countless lives, and it was the catalyst that brought the project to JCC Camp Chi. Growing up, both Lake and Benn attended Birch Trail Camp, and later reconnected through Facebook. Through updates, Lake learned about TOC and contacted Benn to find out how JCC Camp Chi campers could be involved in the project.

“At the time, Jenna was working with a professor at Northwestern University, to develop an educational curriculum, and we volunteered to try it out over the summer,” said Lake. TOC was used as a case study by Danny M. Cohen’s, PhD., Program Development & Implementation class. Students analyzed and critiqued the TOC initiatives and created an action plan for sustainability, including programs and evaluation methods that will help TOC grow in the future.

“It was one of the best things I’ve done at camp in years,” said Lake. “The kids were so into it.”

“At the end of the session, as I looked at my entire SIT class going crazy doing the Twist, I was overcome with an intense sense of teamwork and genuine satisfaction,” said Jacobsohn. “I was truly inspired by being part of this.”

“This group demonstrated remarkable leadership and creativity,” said Benn. “It was wonderful to witness an incredible transformation. They learned a lot about each other, and their relationships were undoubtedly strengthened from it.” To learn more about TOC, training and/or hosting a program for your camp, or school, visit

JCC Camp Chi is the Midwest’s premier Jewish overnight camp for boys and girls ages 9-16. Modern facilities bring campers’ summers alive with horseback riding, sports, high ropes/climbing tower, arts and crafts, and water adventure. Campers live in gender- and age-specific villages, engage in specially-tailored activities, Israel education programs, Shabbat celebrations, and are guided to embrace respect, community and kindness. Interaction and connection with other Jewish campers and Israeli staff provide the framework for pride in their Jewish heritage.

JCC Chicago is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring a strong and vibrant Jewish life and community for generations to come. JCC is a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.


Media Alert: Join FC Raiders, Twist Out Cancer and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Kicking Out Cancer

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory: Community Calendars, Planning Editors, and Assignment Editors

Contact:  Jenna Benn, Founder of Twist Out Cancer



Join FC Raiders, Twist Out Cancer, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in Kicking Out Cancer!

May 4, 2012, Chicago…On Tuesday May 15th, Twist Out Cancer, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and FC Raiders will be holding its first “Kick Out Cancer” event.

Raiders FC U17 Premier (currently ranked #1 in Illinois, #1 in Region II and #6 Nationally) will be playing against Galaxy SC 94/95 Blue (ranked #4 in Illinois, #7 in Region II and #42 Nationally) in a Midwest Regional League match that will also serve as a charity soccer match.  All proceeds will benefit Twist Out Cancer and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Amazing Race Winners, Ernie Halvorson and Cindy Chiang Halvorsen will be leading the twist with Twist Out Cancer during the ½ time show and signing autographs.  Ernie and Cindy traveled the world with Ethan Zohn, winner of the television show and two time Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor. Ethan is currently recovering from a second stem cell transplant and is involved in both Twist Out Cancer and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The Reason:

In May 2011, Noreen Karadsheh (head athletic trainer of Raiders FC U17 Premier) was diagnosed with Stage IIb Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six months of intense and invasive treatment, Noreen is currently in remission. In order to honor her journey and celebrate her health, all proceeds of the event will go towards charities that are close to her heart.

The Charities:

Twist Out Cancer is a support community…with a twist! Founded by 30-year-old Grey Zone Lymphoma survivor Jenna Benn, TOC leverages social media to help survivors and their loved ones combat the feelings of isolation, loneliness, and helplessness that often accompany cancer diagnoses and treatment. TOC provides a forum through which anyone affected by cancer can share thoughts, experiences, stories, and insights, allowing for the exchange of ideas, encouragement, and wisdom from one community member to another. Most importantly, each survivor is invited to create a profile page distinguishing his or her individual “twist” on cancer. This “twist” becomes a collection of videos, posts, songs, pictures, or other media gifted to the survivor by his or her loved ones and friends—it is a living, changing, active, and personalized digital legacy that encourages loved ones to give, and survivors to share. Twist Out Cancer has the power to affect how we fight and heal, and change the way our community provides support.  To watch Jenna and Noreen Twist Out Cancer- click here.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

When:  Tuesday May 15, 2012

7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Who:  Raiders FC U17 Premier vs. Galaxy SC 94/95 Blue (Midwest Regional League match), Twist Out Cancer, LLS

Where:  Flames Field, 901 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608

Cost:  $5 admission, $2 for children 12 and under.  To purchase tickets online go to

Twist Out Cancer is a support community…with a twist on cancer.