Press Release: Twist Out Cancer’s Fifth Annual Brushes With Cancer Event To Take Place On September 9

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

TWIST OUT CANCER’S FIFTH ANNUAL BRUSHES WITH CANCER EVENT TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9

 

Connecting Those Touched by Cancer with Artists to Create for a Cause on September 9, 2017

                                                                                                           

July 17, 2017, Chicago – Twist Out Cancer, an international non-profit charitable organization that provides psychosocial support to individuals touched by cancer through creative arts programming, announced today that tickets are now on sale for its fifth annual Brushes with Cancer Exhibition and Gala.  It will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Revel Fulton Market, located at 1215 W. Fulton Market.  Brushes with Cancer is a six month program that matches those touched by cancer with artists to create a unique piece of artwork that reflects on their journey with cancer.  Over 100 artists and inspirations will showcase their stories and works of art at this year’s art exhibition and gala.  Attendees will have a chance to view and bid on over 50 unique works of art that were created by an artist as a tribute to their inspiration’s journey with cancer.  Each piece of art will be exhibited and auctioned at the event with proceeds helping to further Twist Out Cancer’s mission to support cancer survivors and their loved ones.  Over 700 attendees are expected to attend.

“After surviving Grey Zone Lymphoma in 2011, I saw firsthand how young adults with cancer have a unique set of needs that are not being addressed or talked about.  I found that one way of fulfilling this need is through creative arts, which could be used as a mechanism for coping and healing,” said Jenna Benn Shersher, the founder and executive director of Twist Out Cancer.  “Twist Out Cancer was founded on the principle that when you share, the world opens up.  Since our inception we have impacted more than 100,000 people through our online platforms and community wide programs including Brushes with Cancer.”

This year’s gala will feature remarks from Jenna Benn Shersher and Jaymee Sire, a former anchor at ESPN and current food blogger who has personally been touched by cancer.  The event will also feature a live performance by composer and filmmaker Kobi Swissa who will be playing music from the Brushes with Cancer soundtrack and DJ John Simmons who will be spinning music throughout the evening.

“Twist Out Cancer uses art as a form of healing, communicating, and storytelling,” said artist Jacqueline Carmody who has been involved with Twist out Cancer since 2013.  “I have been so honored to be paired with such brave and amazing individuals each year.  Every experience has been unique and words will never be able to express the power of this event.”

VIP tickets are available for $175 and general admission tickets are available for $125.  VIP guests will attend a private reception one hour prior to the event with the program’s participating artists and inspirations.  Dinner will be provided for all guests by Limelight Catering, Entertaining Company, and The Fat Shallot.  All tickets also include access to an open bar.  Tickets will be available for purchase online until September 8 at 5 p.m. at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brushes-with-cancer-chicago-2017-tickets-32820620359

Due to the success of Brushes with Cancer over the last five years, the program has successfully launched in Ann Arbor and Toronto.  In 2018, the program will be implemented in Tel Aviv, Montreal and Philadelphia.  If you are interested in participating in the program in one of the sister cities please contact Jenna Benn Shersher at jenna@twistoutcancer.org.

Established in 2011 as a non-profit organization, Twist Out Cancer 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, Twist Out Cancer has touched over 100,000 people through its programs and events.  A labor of love, Twist Out Cancer is a volunteer-led organization boasting a network of over 200 active volunteers serving as ambassadors in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Montreal.

Sponsorships for the 2017 Brushes with Cancer event are available here.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact Joshua Taustein at josh@twistoutcancer.org.

 

Twist Out Cancer- A Retaliation to Shame

On November 19th, Founder and Executive Director of Twist Out Cancer Jenna Benn Shersher spoke to 150 attendees at the inaugural Brushes with Cancer event in Toronto, Canada.

Below is Jenna’s speech from the event.

It is an honor and a privilege to be here.

Coming back to Canada- in many ways feels like I am coming home. There are many of you in the room tonight that I have known since I was 17 years old, when I made the brave and bold decision to cross that border- and immerse myself in Quebecois culture.

It feel as if I am amongst family tonight- so thank you for the warm welcome.

Nearly 5 years ago, at the age of 29, I was diagnosed with Grey Zone Lymphoma, a blood cancer that affects less than 200 people in world.

In the months that followed my diagnosis, I was given the unique opportunity to bear witness to my own funeral.

I watched those closest to me mourn what seemed like an imminent passing

I saw them try to come to terms with how someone so young, could be taken so soon.

And I started to hear about how my life had in some way made an impact.

Before cancer, I was a 29 year old searching for fulfillment. I had hoped to fall in love, imagined what it would be like to lay roots, and dreamed about one day building a family.

Fighting a rare type of cancer, as a young adult- throws your hopes and dreams into a state of delirium.  As my experiences became distilled into a series of cherished moments- I became keenly aware that I was on borrowed time.

My life as I knew it was on hold.

As I learned to exist in this holding pattern, I also started to notice how young adults with cancer had a unique set of needs that simply were not being met.

As I fought a cancer that was so rare, I had limited options of where I could turn to get the support and assurance that I needed. I wanted to be able to connect with others that had experienced what it was like to face their own mortality. I wanted to be told that I would not only survive, but that I would thrive.

As a young adult, there was no one I could talk to about the catastrophic impact chemotherapy could have on my eggs and ovaries. Not only was cancer killing me, but it was killing my ability to one day have children.

Why was no one talking about this?

As my treatment progressed, and my immune system became further compromised, I found myself increasingly lonely and isolated. I no longer related to the family and friends that had known me for years, but rather sought refuge online amongst a community that I had unknowingly built. It was this community where I found love, support and understanding. It was this community that allowed me to process the gravity of my situation. It was this community that allowed me to eventually heal.

When we refuse to speak about what’s hard- we aren’t being honest. And it is the silence that eventually turns into shame.

I was 29 years old, unsure if I was going to live or die, and I was riddled with shame.

It was a shame that tried to paralyze me, but instead inspired me.

Twist Out Cancer in many ways a battle cry- it is retaliation to that shame.

As I wrote in my blog throughout the many months of treatment, I found that when I shared the world opened up.

I wrote about the hard.

I wrote about the truth.

I wrote about the shame.

And in doing so- I connected with many of you. Old friends and new friends. Friends that have become like family.

 When I finished treatment, I was determined to shed light on the unique set of psychosocial issues and circumstances that face the young adult population fighting cancer. And I was determined to give voice to the voiceless who had been stifled by a cancer diagnosis. It was the quiet, the tendency to retreat, and the shame that really rattled me.  Imagine if more people came forward with their story, if more people came forward with their needs, and if there was a space to harness and celebrate creativity.  We all need an outlet, a safe space to share our twist on cancer. This was the community that I was determined to create and is currently being built right here in Canada.

The launch of the Twist Out Cancer Canadian Chapter is a major milestone. My ability to tiptoe out of the shadows, out of the grey zone- and into the light would never have happened without Dan Hadad. Dan’s passion and drive to share Twist with Canada is why we are all here tonight. It is his vision, his hopes- and his dreams that have brought us here tonight.

I am incredibly indebted to you my friend- you provided me with incredible support and love during a very dark period of time. The  cancer community in Canada is so lucky to have you at the helm, leading us and encouraging us to share our twists on cancer.

The program Brushes with Cancer was born 4 years ago in Chicago, when Anna Swarthout, a fellow grey zone lymphoma survivor that I had mentored put out a challenge asking the community to create a unique piece of artwork not using the shade of grey because that was all that she was seeing. In the midst of chemotherapy, Anna bravely made the call- and the community answered. Within days we had murals painted in Switzerland, sculptures created in Toronto, dances choreographed in harlem. The community was coming together to support Anna.

When Anna shared- the world opened up- and it was up to us to listen.

Brushes with cancer matches those touched by cancer with an artist that is charged with creating a unique piece of artwork reflective of their journey with cancer.

To honor my 5 year cancerversary, I chose to participate for the first time in Brushes with Cancer- as a subject. My artist, Aviad Herman, is an Israeli dancer and designer living in Sweden. As I embarked on this process, I found myself opening up about aspects of my life that I had never spoken about. Aviad and I connected over skype- by email, and on facebook messenger. The thousands of miles and experiences that separated us, became irrelevant. Technology had enabled us to connect in a meaningful way. Unsure of where our conversations would lead, I was admittedly nervous. What did I want to share with him, that others may not know. When you are so public about your experiences with cancer, its hard to figure out what is new or unique. 61/2 months ago, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter named Noa Pearl. Noa is for all intensive purposes a miracle. My husband and I still look at her in awe of how she made it into this world. As I have transitioned into my role of parent- I have found myself much more protective of my online profile, and what I choose to share with the public. Aviad made me feel safe. He found a way to ask me questions that no one else had asked. He showed a genuine interest in understanding my pain, my struggles, my triumphs and my strengths.

It was only when Aviad presented his artwork that I was fully able to understand the time, effort and love he put into this project. He approached Brushes with Cancer not as another artistic venture, but as an opportunity to connect, learn, support and inspire.

Brushes with Cancer creates unexpected intersections, and connections, creating a system of support no matter where you are at in your journey.

I cannot think of a better way to honor where where I have been, and where I currently am. Aviad-  you will always hold a special place in my heart.

I want to thank the incredible host committee, subjects and artists that shared their passion, time, experiences and talents with us- we are so grateful for your participation and we hope this is only the beginning.

Thank you for being here tonight.

Thank you for making yourselves vulnerable.

And thank you for allowing the world to open up.

 

 

 

 

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

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:  Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder and Executive Director

jenna@twistoutcancer.org

                                                                                                     

TO: Assignment Editors, Planning Editors,   

Community Calendars                                             

                                                                                                                                                           

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

Chicago, IL, October 29, 2013…. On Thursday, November 6, 2014, Twist Out Cancer will launch the first ever Brushes with Cancer Kick Off- Pairing Artists with Survivors to Create for a Cause.”  The fundraiser and info-session will feature Brushes with Cancer alumni, notable artists, cancer survivors, pre-vivors and caregivers.

The Brushes with Cancer Kick Off will take place at the Matthew Rachman Gallery, located in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village.  The evening will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres generously provided by Whole Foods and Puzzle Israel, World Jazz provided by the Plotkin Project, and a keynote address from Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder of Twist Out Cancer.  Additional speeches will be made by Hector Nunez, cancer survivor and COO of Imerman Angels, Melissa Garvey, thyroid cancer survivor and Brushes with Cancer alumni, and Bowen Kline and Douglas Jones, Michigan based artists and supporters of Twist Out Cancer.

Brushes with Cancer, is a four-month program that pairs artists with those touched by cancer to create a unique piece of artwork that is reflective of their journey. Each artists’ piece is officially revealed and auctioned online and in person at the Brushes with Cancer Benefit. On February 21st, the Brushes with Cancer Gala and Exhibition will take place at Chez  located at 247 E. Ontario, Chicago. Last year, the event sold out three weeks in advance and attracted over 500 attendees.

Due to the success of Brushes with Cancer, in 2015 and 2016, the program is growing and launching in Ann Arbor, Toronto and Tel Aviv. Survivors, pre-vivors, caregivers and artists are strongly encouraged to apply to participate in one of our programs. Applications are due November 10, 2014.

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 53,000 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 Kick-Off

Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Time:  6:00 -10:00 PM

Location: Matthew Rachman Gallery, 1659 W. Chicago, Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622.

Tickets:  Tickets are $30.00 in advance and $40.00 at the door.  Student tickets are available for $20.00 with a valid student ID. You must be 21 to enter.

All tickets include appetizers, drinks 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.

 

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