Press Release: TWIST OUT CANCER, PIPERWAI AND WEWORK LAUNCH FIRST ANNUAL SOCK HOP IN HONOR OF #GIVINGTUESDAY, A GLOBAL DAY OF DEDICATED GIVING TO NON-PROFITS.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TO: ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, COMMUNITY CALENDARS

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

jenna@twistoutcancer.org

TWIST OUT CANCER, PIPERWAI AND WEWORK LAUNCH FIRST ANNUAL SOCK HOP IN HONOR OF #GIVINGTUESDAY, A GLOBAL DAY OF DEDICATED GIVING TO NON-PROFITS.

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.

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

Brushes With Cancer is an evening that celebrates survivor-ship and hope through art, music and storytelling.  Over the next few months, survivors will be asked to share their “Twist On Cancer,” (lessons learned, fighting strategies and new perspectives) with our online community of support. Their ‘twists’ will serve as inspiration for local and international artists to create unique pieces of art. The art will be auctioned online and in person at the Twist With An Artist Benefit taking place on April 17, 2013 in Chicago.

The Benefit
At the event, participating survivors will have the opportunity to share their Twist on Cancer, and the artists they inspire will discuss their creative processes and reveal their final works of art. All proceeds will go directly to the Twist community.

Inspirational stories of hope will be provided by


Jenna Benn, Founder of Twist Out Cancer


Jonny Imerman, Founder of Imerman’s Angels

Keynote Speaker


Ethan Zohn, Two Time Cancer Survivor and Winner of Survivor Africa


Music Provided by Palter Ego

Commentary provided by Anthony Ponce, General Assignment Reporter at NBC5

Call For Submissions
Twist Out Cancer is calling upon survivors to share their twist on cancer between now and February 28, 2013.
To submit your Twist On Cancer click here.

Selected artists will have the opportunity to showcase their art online and person. The art will be displayed and auctioned at Twist Out Cancer’s annual benefit taking place in Chicago on April 17, 2013. Proceeds from the auction will go toward furthering Twist Out Cancer’s mission.

If you are interested in participating as an artist please contact Jenna Benn, Founder of Twist Out Cancer at Jenna@twistoutcancer.org

How Do I Get Involved:
If you are interested in joining the Twist With An Artist Host Committee or are interested in donating goods/services please contact Jenna@twistoutcancer.org

There will be 4 host committee meetings between January and April. Please note that you do not need to be in Chicago to participate.

 

Thank You Chubby.

It has been a year since I was tied up, strapped down, locked in.

A year since I finished treatment- a year since I tiptoed out of the shadows and into the sunlight -and a year since I left the hospital for what I hoped would be the very last time.

In the past year, I have chosen to experience the world in oscillating states of hyper-color. These moments are cherished, savored, and readily accessible.

These moments give me strength, provide guidance, and most importantly provide hope.

On Thursday May 10, 2012- one year after finishing treatment, we held a Twist Out Cancer fundraiser in Montreal – a city that I called home for nearly 7 years. In the last year this community nurtured and supported me in a way that I did not know was possible. With nearly 200 people in attendance- we were able to raise awareness and funds to help further Twist Out Cancer’s mission, and perhaps more importantly- I was finally able to say thank you.

As fate would have it- the same weekend Twist Out Cancer Touched Down in Montreal,- Chubby Checker planned to celebrate 50 years of the Twist.

This past Saturday night, at the Rialto Theatre, I took the stage with the man that helped inspire a movement- with the man that has been the focal point of my narrative-with the man that has helped show me that “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but its about learning to dance in the rain.”

As we twisted- Cancer moved from center stage into the chorus.

As we twisted- the heaviness of the last year was lifted.

As we twisted- the pain that I endured softened.

Thank you Chubby for being a part of my past- but more importantly a part of my present and future.

Dancing with you was one of the best moments of my life.

You helped me find meaning in the suffering- and for that I am incredible grateful.

 

Meet Noreen

This past spring I had the pleasure of meeting darling Noreen. Noreen had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and she was referred to me through our oncologist Dr. Leo Gordon. At that time I was just a few steps ahead of Noreen. I had recently finished treatment and was slowly tiptoing out of the shadows.  As I was trying to reacclimate, Noreen was saying goodbye to her sense of normalcy and doing her best to embrace her new reality. Noreen and I connected over our love for dance, our fascination with the ridiculous, and our strong belief in holding on to hope.

Noreen was my first tiny twister- who happened to tower over me by 1/2 a foot.  After her first round of chemotherapy, Noreen and I went to North Avenue Beach and twisted out cancer.

Noreen is and was a fighter in all senses of the word. Cancer unlocked her creativity, allowed her to access parts of herself that had become quieted, and perhaps most importantly allowed her to appreciate life in a new and profound way.

Here is Noreen’s twist on cancer.

I am a survivor. That has a nice little ring to it doesn’t it?! On the eve of my first follow-up CT-scan post chemo, I am healthy, young and a hopeful Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor. In May 2011, I learned that the start of my 31 years of life would be filled with cancer.  From the moment of being told I had cancer, to the 6 months of chemotherapy, and to the ever so interesting life of post treatment and the ongoing phase of recovery, the feeling of shock and disbelief never left.  As a high-energy, constant life on the go kind of gal that I am that is completely devoted to family, friends and my career, I never let cancer take control of my life.  I worked full-time throughout treatment, I lived my life like a 31 year old should. I laughed, I danced, and I continued to fight everyday. I blogged about my journey and found that it was a great release and allowed me to keep my friends and family updated.  In my everyday life, I lived in the black and white.  There was never a doubt that I wasn’t going to beat cancer.  I did what I had to do to survive.  But as I blogged, it was my moment to live in the grey.  I exposed my fears, my uncertainties, but managed to showed people I was strong. My low moments brought on tears, hopelessness, fears, isolation and the feeling of being lost.  I soon learned that greatest gift that was ever given to me was cancer.  I know that is crazy to say but I have learned so much more than some may learn in their lifetime.  I was given the opportunity to evaluate what was important to me in life.  I saw different layers of beauty in people, my world and my soul.  My family and friends lifted me up everyday.  I made a promise to myself to slow down and smell the roses.  I take a moment everyday to look at the sky and absorb the beauty and the ever-changing masterpiece the earth creates everyday.  I close my eyes and take deep breaths and savor each breath that enters and escapes my body.  I am alive today.  I am real. I am grateful and loved. I am a real human.  And I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Twist Out Cancer- A Movement That Moves

You are invited to attend:

Twist Out Cancer – A Movement That Moves

Friday, April 20, 2012, From 7:30-9:00 PM AT The Chicago Yoga Center

On April 20, 2012,  we invite you to join our community of tiny twisters who are determined to bend, move and Twist Out Cancer.

In December 2010, at the age of 29, Jenna Benn was diagnosed with Grey Zone Lymphoma, a rare type of blood cancer that affects less than 300 people in the United States. After 6 months of chemotherapy and invasive treatments she has finally been able to move her life from pause to play.

Becky Strauss, Registered Yoga Teacher, and pending MSW graduate at Loyola University Chicago, helped Jenna connect with her “inner warrior” through yoga, breathing, and meditation sessions throughout her treatment.

Please join Jenna and Becky in a mindful yoga practice that will calm, heal, and nurture your soul. New to yoga?  No worries…  this class is for every body, every level, everyone!

This will also be an opportunity to learn about Jenna’s latest venture Twist Out Cancer, a non-profit organization that she founded shortly after she completed treatment.

When:         Friday April 20, 2012, 7:30-9:00 pm

Where:        The Chicago Yoga Center -3047 N. Lincoln Avenue, Unit 320, Chicago

RSVP:         Click here to register online.

Suggested donation:  $20/person but all donations are welcome! All proceeds wil go directly towards furthering the Twist Out Cancer mission.

To learn more about Twist Out Cancer click here.

To learn more about Jenna and Becky’s mindful yoga practice together as she battled Cancer click here.

To learn more about Becky Strauss click here.

http://twistoutcancer.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/becky.jpg

The Chicago Yoga Center 3047 N Lincoln Ave #320 Chicago, IL 60657

Questions? Email jenna@twistoutcancer.org Are you having trouble registering?If so please visit our site at by clicking here or scan below.

Here’s My Twist On Cancer- Now What’s Yours?

Everyone is touched by Cancer.

And everyone has their own “Twist on Cancer (TM)”.

How you choose to fight this disease and support others that are affected by it- is completely up to you.

I chose to fight Cancer with the Twist.

As the disease tried to rob me of my spirit, I chose to Twist my way through the disease.

So what does it mean to “Twist out Cancer” (TM)?

Throughout my journey as I documented my journey through my blog, I realized the critical importance of movement during a time when I felt trapped and betrayed by my body.  During the days when I was immuno-suppressed and unable to live in outside world, I danced alone in my room, dreaming about what it would be like to be joined on the dance floor by my family and friends.

As the moments, days, and months wore on- the lonliness and isolation worsened. While I was increasingly disconnected from the world around me- I was determined to figure out a way to bring the people I cared about most into my world.

I decided to put out a challenge.

I asked my family, friends, and loved ones to twist for me.

While I was unable to physically do the running man, or the electric slide, I could do the Twist. I figured if I could do the Twist with poison running through my veins, those I cared about could do it too.

And so we twisted.

Within a few days I had countless videos from tiny twisters around the world- who were determined to Twist out Cancer.

And this is how the movement was born!

twisted in order to reconnect with a body I no longer understood.

twisted in order to raise awareness about my disease.

twisted to give others hope that were fighting.

continue to twist because I can, because I should, and because I must.

I hope you will join me.

I want to know your “Twist on Cancer”. I want to know how you are embracing this experience and making it your own. Together our stories, our “Twists on Cancer” will help support those that need it most, and enable us to pay it forward.

If you are interested in sharing your “Twist On Cancer” through writing, audio or video- please email Jenna at Jenna@twistoutcancer.org

Here’s My Twist On Cancer- Now What’s Yours?

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/24738804]

A Change in Lenses

I have to be honest with you.

It’s time for me to come clean.

My prescription has changed.

Back in January my lenses were translucent. I saw you and the world around me with such clarity.

My world was in hyper-color.

As cancer robbed me of my physicality, my sense of normalcy, and tested my emotional stability- you started to glow.

As I was deprived of my senses-I was also on sensory overload.

Even in my darkest moments- I saw you dancing in the sunlight.

The more challenging obstacles were met with visual overstimulation.

You were beautiful.

I was counting the months, the days, the weeks, the moments- where I would eventually be able to emerge from the shadows and join you in hyper-color.

And now- here we are- 8 months post treatment- and you are still glowing-but not all the time.

I still see you with incredible clarity and disarming translucence.

But on some days you are more sepia toned- more muted.

Seeing the world in hyper-color was not sustainable and perhaps is no longer is necessary.

If I were still in hyper-color, I would still feel robbed.

I no longer feel as if something was taken.

Instead I feel I was given the greatest gift.

I now have moments in hype color.

It is those moments-that remind me of my journey- that remind me that I am alive- that remind me of how much I have to be grateful for.

Seeing the world through hyper-color lenses, allowed me to learn what it means to live a life elevated by trauma, elevated by hardship, elevated by suffering.

It is the muted and glowing moments- it is the change in prescription- it is the glimpses of hype-color that show me that I am healing.

Interested in Becoming a Tiny Twister?

A few weeks ago JCC PresenTense Chicago, in partnership with Sidney N. Shure Kehilla and Birthright Israel Next asked if I would speak at their social innovation night that celebrates social entrepreneurship in Jewish Chicago.

On January 24th from 7-9pm I will be sharing my journey with cancer and discuss how this experience led to my emerging venture Twist Out Cancer. During this discussion I will open up about the mission and objectives of the organization and discuss ways for the community to get involved.

This event is open to JCC PresenTense Chicago fellows and the general public.

What: Social innovation nights showcase young Jewish social innovators who are inspired to fight a societal ill or meet a community need by launching a social enterprise.
When: Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 from 7 to 9pm.
Where: Birthright Israel Next Loft @ 1440 N. Dayton
Cost: $2.48, which will be donated to a different charity each month. There is no need to register in advance.

For Chicago based readers- I look forward to seeing you on January 24th!

A Chanukah Miracle

It was a year ago today that I decided to undergo fertility preservation at Northwestern University’s Oncofertility Consortium.

At the time of my initial diagnosis, when I heard those three words, I remember feeling completely helpless and out of control.

I was slowly being suffocated by the weight of cancer.

During what felt like a period of complete paralysis, I was desperately trying to find ways to regain a sense of normalcy, purpose and control. I wanted to be a part of the decision making process. I wanted to have a voice.

As a young adult facing a cancer diagnosis- I learned very quickly that my fertility may be significantly affected by chemotherapy.

While I knew that cancer was going to rob me of many things, I was unwilling to let this disease rob me of my ability to have children.

Before my official diagnosis and regimen were finalized, I had already started the paper work to preserve my fertility.

This decision, significantly affected the way I chose to fight cancer.
From the very beginning I was already thinking about life after cancer. Choosing to protect my fertility allowed me to hold on to hope- and without hope I would not have survived.

Over the last 12 months I have been involved in a very painful appeals process with my insurance company to try to prove that I needed and deserved these treatments.

Preserving my fertility was not a luxury-but a necessity.

The research was clear- there was a strong likelihood that my chemotherapy regimen would significantly and perhaps permanently damage my ovaries.
After months of fighting for my life, there was the possibility that I would be rendered sterile.

Having to repeatedly plead with my insurance company to consider my needs- was excruciating.

I was screaming – but no one was listening.

Two days ago I received the news that the initial decision was overturned- and that my fertility preservation would now be covered by insurance.

It was a Chanukah miracle.

Instead of retreating- I chose to scream louder. Instead of accepting defeat- I chose to push harder.

I share this piece of my cancer journey with you because we shouldn’t be whispering about fertility- but screaming about it. It’s outrageous to have to prove that these treatments are not a luxury but a necessity. It’s outrageous that young adult patients are not being told about their options when they are initially diagnosed or shortly thereafter. And its outrageous that there is a silent stigma attached to women that have no choice but to seek fertility options.

I can only hope that my story-will one day help the lives of other young adult cancer patients- who should be focusing their energy on fighting to live -as opposed to fighting to receive coverage.

It’s time to cause a commotion.
Its time to start educating.
It’s time to start mobilizing.

Who’s joining me?

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When What is Shared and What is Private Becomes Sacred and With Purpose.

51 weeks ago I decided to come out.

I decided that my journey, my fight, my dance with Cancer was too hard for me to carry alone.

And so I reached for you.

And there you were- ready to hold me up, ready to break my fall, ready to encourage me to fight harder.

The desire to share my story in real time, was initially rooted in desperation.  However as my fight continued I started to recognize the power in sharing. Through sharing comes strength, through sharing comes change, through sharing comes real transformation.

There were times when I was silent but I was really screaming. There were times when I was screaming but I wanted to be silent.

Today- what I choose to share and what I choose to keep private is up to me.  Every day I cautiously tiptoe between the choice to scream and the choice to remain silent.

And sometimes I find myself twisting somewhere in between.

As my journey continues, and my life becomes filled with new memories and experiences, I recognize how my relationship with sharing will continue to evolve and change.

What I choose to share and keep private is both sacred and with purpose.

And so as I continue to dance between the public and private, between the screams and silence, I do so with the understanding and gratitude that I am the one leading.