Meet Brushes with Cancer Artist Alumni – Doug Jones


MEET Doug Jones, a professional artist with a background in non-profit work. He is a veteran Brushes with Cancer participant who has been involved since its inception. Doug says he met Jenna (the founder) through a mutual college friend and “she was so lovely to be around that we connected immediately”. Specializing in Wonder Woman art, Doug’s first Brushes piece was for Noreen who had received a Wonder Woman figurine in the mail the day before she was diagnosed. Since then, Doug became a strong believer in the benefits of the program and he has not only participated in all of the Brushes events, but he also assisted with planning the first Michigan Brushes event, and is hoping to get a Detroit event on the calendar soon.

“My background is in psychology.” Jones says. “Mainly trauma and resilience-oriented therapy. I have used art therapy a lot and I have seen the benefits of art in therapeutic efforts.” The biggest benefit of the program, in his eyes, is that “people can see they are not alone.” An important aspect of healing therapy after any trauma is to find individuals who have had similar experiences. “This is a great reminder that people live through and with this all the time. A diagnosis is not a death sentence,” he emphasizes. “I think those are the two biggest benefits [of the Brushes program]: the sense of belonging and understanding that this is not a death sentence.”

Doug goes on to say that “

“My involvement with Twist has been such a journey. I wasn’t sure if Jenna was going to survive that first year, and it was such an emotional experience. I have a unique sense of joy just watching [Twist Out Cancer] grow. From participating, to being on the host committee, it has been just such an incredible journey.” Doug speaks fondly about the organization as if he is a proud father, watching his baby grow and expand and do good in the world.

To someone who is considering participating, Jones offers his own takeaway from being part of the Brushes with Cancer family: “I have seen insights – each of my people have shared things with me that they feel they can’t share with anyone. There is something about the idea that I am a stranger, and because of the purpose of the project they feel they have been able to share things with me. Those true insights into their personal experiences are the things I cherish the most. I would not have known these people, many of whom have become friends, without this program.”

 

 

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

                Jenna@twistoutcancer.org

 

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.  www.twistoutcancer.org  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. www.lls.org/il

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 http://kick-out-cancer.eventbrite.com/

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


#

Let’s Kick Out Cancer!

Join Twist Out Cancer and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in “Kicking Out Cancer!”

May 15, 2012

7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Raiders FC U17 Premier vs. Galaxy SC 94/95 Blue (Midwest Regional League match)

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

$5 admission

$2 for children 12 and under

To Register Online go to http://kick-out-cancer.eventbrite.com/

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

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.

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.

Watch Jenna and Noreen Twist Out Cancer

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.  www.twistoutcancer.org

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. www.lls.org/il

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.