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

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

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

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


Deanna and Sam Twist it Out!


Jonny Imerman, An Angel in the Flesh Twists it Out


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


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


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


To See More Magical Moments Check Out These Online Albums – Thank you Ben Swislow -Thank you John Broughton– Thank you Tom Zamiar

Thank You Corporate Sponsors

The Hideout

Pow Gym

Public House

Cottage Flip Flops

Thank you to our Organizational and Media Partners

Imermans Angels


Cheeky Chicago

Julia Alison

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.