PRESS RELEASE:TWIST OUT CANCER LAUNCHES THIRD ANNUAL BRUSHES WITH CANCER EVENT, CONNECTING THOSE TOUCHED BY CANCER WITH ARTISTS TO CREATE FOR A CAUSE ON FEBRUARY 21, 2015.

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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 LAUNCHES THIRD ANNUAL BRUSHES WITH CANCER EVENT, CONNECTING THOSE TOUCHED BY CANCER WITH ARTISTS TO CREATE FOR A CAUSE ON FEBRUARY 21, 2015.

January 12, 2015, Chicago, Illinois….On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, Twist Out Cancer will host the Third Annual Brushes with Cancer Exhibition and Gala at Chez, located at 247 E. Ontario.  Twist Out Cancer is a non-profit charitable organization that offers a platform for survivors, pre-vivers and caregivers of cancer to connect, support each other and heal. The signature event, Brushes with Cancer is a four month program that matches those touched by cancer with artists to create a unique piece of artwork reflected of their journey with cancer.  The artwork will be exhibited and put up for auction at the event with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Twist Out Cancer’s mission.

This year the gala will feature Anthony Ponce, NBC5 anchor as the emcee; Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder of Twist Out Cancer; Sivan Schondorf, previvor and current Brushes with Cancer participant; Tom McNamara, Brushes with Cancer Host Committee Member;Sumit Mehta, Founder of Empirical Brewery, and Maya-Camille Broussard, Founder of The MCB Project and The MCB Shop.

Starting at 6:30 pm, VIP guests will attend a private reception with the program’s participating artists and subjects. The Plotkin Project will provide live jazz. Dinner will be provided by Limelight Catering, Entertaining Company, Whole Foods, Wishbone Catering and Stan’s Donuts. Dj John Simmons will be spinning throughout the evening.

The event will feature an open bar sponsored by Limelight Catering, Country Road Distributors and Empirical Brewery. At the event Empirical Brewery will be launching the official “Twist Off Cancer Beer” with portions of the proceeds benefiting Twist Out Cancer.

Chicago based Arts Integrator, Culturist and Designer Maya-Camille Broussard, who is known for her one of a kind turbans, will launch the official #TurbanTwist, a line benefiting Twist Out Cancer. Participants will have a chance to purchase from the #TurbanTwist line and donate Turbans to cancer survivors who are currently in treatment. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will go towards furthering Twist Out Cancer’s mission.

Due to the success of Brushes with Cancer over the last three years, the program is growing and and launching in Ann Arbor, Toronto and Tel Aviv. If you are interested in participating in the program in one of our sister cities please contact Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder of Twist Out Cancer.

Established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization, Twist Out Cancer (TOC) offers the platform, tools and community – both online and offline – for anyone touched by cancer to feel connected to a community, and for many to take action. Since its inception, TOC has touched over 63,000 through its programs and events. A labor of love, TOC is completely volunteer-led, boasting a network of over 200 active volunteers serving as ambassadors in Chicago, Detroit, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Montreal.

What: Brushes with Cancer

Date: Saturday,February 21, 2015.

Time:  6:30 -12:00 PM

Location: Chez  247 E. Ontario, Chicago.

Tickets:  Tickets are $150 for VIP and $100 for General Admission.  Tickets will be available for purchase online until February 20th at 5:00 pm. A limited amount of walk ins will be accommodated. Please note that tickets purchased at the door are $150.

Tickets include open bar, dinner, and the program. To purchase tickets online visit our website.

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

Share this announcement via Twitter or Facebook.

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Brushes with Cancer Continues to Inspire!

We are proud to officially launch the Brushes with Cancer 2014 video!

Thank you Jackson Media for putting this together!

 

Since Brushes with Cancer debuted at Chez over a month ago, we have been overwhelmingly touched by the generosity of the Twist Out Cancer community.  Without solicitation, some of the artists have taken the initiative to launch their own fundraisers to spread further awareness and raise money to further the mission of Twist Out Cancer.

Bowen Kline, a contributing artist from Romeo, Michigan is holding  two fundraisers with 10% of all proceeds going towards Twist Out Cancer. You can meet Bowen and check out his work on  Saturday May 17th from 10-6:00 pm at  Reology. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artist and support Twist!

Drew Montemayor, a participating artists from Philadelphia, has created a limited edition of prints featuring the artwork he created that was inspired by Leukemia survivor Mike Fraser. Proceeds of the sales will be donated directly to Twist. To learn more about this initiative check out his site!

In addition to these fundraisers, Anna and Ina Deriy surprised Kristin McQueen, a Thyroid Cancer survivor with her own replica of the work they created in her honor!

And finally ,there is the unexpected generosity that comes from complete strangers. Meet Abby Bott. Abby was unable to attend Brushes with Cancer because she was recovering from surgery. An anonymous couple was so moved by her story and the artwork that she inspired, that they secretly purchased her painting and delivered it to her in person this week. Diana Mckee, Abby’s match, is a NY based artist. Diana was so moved by Abby’s strength and resilience, that she stayed up all night to complete her piece! Her efforts show!

 

At twist, we believe that when you share the world opens up.

Your stories-your gestures-your generosity- has the power to inspire and heal.  and your generosity has the power to inspire.

We are so grateful for you.

To learn more about the participating artists, survivors, previvors and caregivers that participated in Brushes with Cancer- please check out our program from the event.

Brushes Program 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Our Voice, Our Narrative, Our Twists on Cancer

Over the last two years I have spent a great deal of time connecting with other cancer survivors to learn about their unique experiences in managing their illness. Some of of these survivors describe feelings of isolation, loneliness, ostracism and misunderstanding, whereas others describe unprecedented love and support.  Some survivors describe their experiences as colored by profound loss and repeated victimization where as others describe it as a journey filled with countless blessings.

What is clear, is that there is not one cancer narrative- not one coping strategy- nor one particular model patient experience we can look to to mimic or follow.  Our experiences- our narratives-our reflections on what was and what is-is so deeply personal.  And perhaps our experiences and the way we choose to describe them-are influenced by where we stand. Are we recently diagnosed- currently in treatment- recently relapsed or post treatment?   The options are endless and the words we choose  to describe our stories, can quickly change depending on where we are at.

In my case, with little to no statistics or research to explain my diagnosis and treatment regimen, I realized early on that I felt empowered by writing my own story. Writing became my primary coping mechanism for how to navigate an experience that was traumatic, chaotic, yet undeniably mine. As I felt increasingly lonely and isolated I was deeply concerned that I would eventually lose my own voice. There were times when I appeared silent, but I was really screaming. And there were times when I was screaming yet struggling to speak.

In a failed attempt to preserve the voice I once knew and once loved, I ended up by accident discovering a more authentic self.  This self was braver, more courageous, and more giving. This self was determined to raise awareness, educate and find an outlet for my creativity.

The voice that I was so desperately clinging to was no longer the voice that I needed.

And today, I have recognized that the voice I had during treatment- is no longer relevant for my here and now.

Our voices- our narratives- our twists on cancer are ever- changing.

Perhaps through writing, through art, through music, our voices then and now can and will always be preserved.

 

On April 17, 2012, Twist Out Cancer will launch “Brushes With Cancer: Pairing Artists and Survivors to Create For a Cause.” This event will celebrate survivorship 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 Immerman, Founder of Immerman’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

 

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.

 

Magic is Real- I Promise. See How We Twisted.

In this new chapter of survivorship, I have discovered that my reality, my world, my life, is in fact greater than the fantasies, hopes and dreams that I imagined and desperately held on to during my dance with Cancer.

As the days pass- and my heart, mind and body  grow stronger, I am continuously reminded that my real life is better than my imagination. The here and now is sweeter and richer than the life that once was.

On Thursday August 11th, 2011- 31 days day after my last round of chemotherapy, 230 of my friends, family, and supporters came to Twist Out Cancer.

As we twisted, bended, moved- because we can, because we should, because we must- we created and witnessed magic together.

Enveloped by a cocoon of love, kindness, generosity, and support, I twisted my way into a heightened reality.

I am still floating.

Throughout the night I tried to figure out ways to bottle up outpouring of emotion that was noticeably palatable.  As I tried to desperately hold on to these moments, for fear that they would leave, I came to the realization that these moments in time, these memories I cherish- will continue to live and breathe within me for the days to come as long as I need them, want them, and value them.  These beautiful, magical, miraculous moments will continue to help me fight, help me heal, and help me rebuild.

For those of you that were able to be apart of this magical evening- thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those of you that were twisting in spirit- we felt you. To those of you that were unable to attend because you were tied up, strapped down, locked up- we twisted for you.

Over the next few days, I will try to show you what lives inside my bottle of moments, my mind, my heart.  This entry will be evolutionary as the footage continues to pour in, and I manage to get better at capturing these moments.

As I try to show you what was created, I think you will agree that magic does exist, and is real.

On this night you joined me. You didn’t leave me hanging on the dance floor. You all showed me how my reality is bigger, brighter and better than my dreams.

Thank you for your guidance.

Thank you for being apart of it.

I will savor these moments in time for the rest of my life.

My Story
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muaqU7H8GiE]


The Legendary Sam Barsh Performs “We’re Beatin Cancer”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK0ogf_I31w&feature=share]

Deanna and Sam Twist it Out!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGbrsMEVD3s]

Jonny Imerman, An Angel in the Flesh Twists it Out

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mHuMSGRhRM&feature=related]

Kate Garmey and her plus one are all up and twisted.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh3xSr8x6vE]

To those that are surviving, fighting, and those that are no longer with us.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX_GLGDM5jo&feature=youtu.be]

Why I Twist- Thank you for moving, bending, twisting- because you can, because you should, because you must.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=08ZNZVY3MzE]







To See More Magical Moments Check Out These Online Albums

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150404943608032.445098.354571263031&type=1 – Thank you Ben Swislow

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2336487493078.2141054.1276563130&type=1 -Thank you John Broughton

http://www.zamiar.com/jennatwist/– Thank you Tom Zamiar

Thank You Corporate Sponsors

The Hideout  http://www.hideoutchicago.com/

Pow Gym http://www.powkickboxing.com/

Public House  http://www.publichousechicago.com/

Cottage Flip Flops http://www.etsy.com/shop/CottageFlipFlops

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CottageFlipFlops

Thank you to our Organizational and Media Partners

Imermans Angels www.imermanangels.org

NBC5  www.nbc5.com

Cheeky Chicago www.cheekychicago.com

Julia Alison www.juliaallison.com

Special Shout Outs

To my mom, dad, and sister Neely: thank you for holding me during the darkest of days, and giving me hope that tomorrow would be better than today.

To Sam Barsh, Jesse Palter, Deanna Neil, Jeff Parker, Andrew Vitale, Lauren, Trip Small, Austin Hartley Leonard, Anthony Ponce, and Jonny Imerman for your friendship, dedication and commitment to Twisting Out Cancer. You are all stars now and forever. Thank you for your friendship and love.

To Deborah Felix and Jacob Klippstein for documenting what twisting out Cancer looks, feels and sounds like.

To Hilda Karadsheh for your beautiful animation and love.

To Kate Garmey for your conceptual help and guidance. .

To my Lymphoma Soul Sisters Noreen Karadsheh and Karla Dunston, may we follow in each others footsteps now and forever, side by side, hand in hand.

I love you now and always.