With uncertainty brought by COVD-19, Twist Out Cancer’s mission is more important than ever. Twist offers psychosocial support to individuals touched by cancer by using the creative arts as a mechanism for healing.
Dan’s Story of Resilience
For Dan Hindin, who was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in early May 2019, the Twist Out Cancer community provided the connection and support he needed during this isolating time.
“My advice to those just starting on their cancer journey is to be open about your condition and treatment and don’t be afraid to reach out to others,” Hindin said. “By being upfront and transparent about my condition, my emotions and my struggles, I received such amazing and sympathetic support from those around me. This, more than anything else, has allowed me to persevere through this terribly difficult time.”
Hindin participated in the Brushes with Cancer Chicago program and was partnered with artist Erica Moore, who created a piece of artwork inspired by his story. The two connected right away and got to know each other on a deeply personal level.
“She saw me as a whole human being, not just someone with cancer. She asked me about my passions, my favorite things and seemed to want to get to know me on a deeper level. She also opened up to me and shared details of her own life; it was surprisingly uplifting to connect and learn about someone else.”
Because of his connection with Moore and the love and support he received from the Twist Out Cancer community, Hindin highly recommends that others touched by cancer apply to be an Inspiration for the Brushes with Cancer program.
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the uncertainty of it all and the fears many cancer patients, survivors and caretakers have, community is more important than ever.
“[Brushes with Cancer] can be a source of support, hope and catharsis no matter where in your cancer journey you might be,” Hindin said. “You will meet people you would have never met otherwise and experience emotions you would have never felt. Open yourself up to this experience, and get so much more in return.”
At the Brushes with Cancer art exhibition and gala, Hindin saw the piece in person, along with his closest loved ones. Currently, Moore’s artwork is on display in Hindin’s office.
“When I look at it, it reminds me of all the amazing love and support I’ve felt from hundreds of family, friends and colleagues during the toughest journey of my life.”
Hindin made the courageous decision to open himself up to a new community and for him, it was all worth it.
“In your cancer journey, as in life, you tend to get what you give. If you keep it all bottled in, no one will know what you’re going through, let alone understand you on a deeper level,” Hindin said. “By sharing, you open yourself up to a tremendous reserve of love and support. I have never felt as loved in my entire life as I have during my cancer journey, and that was only possible by being open and honest about what I was going through.”
Overall, Hindin highly recommends that anyone touched with cancer get involved in the Twist Out Cancer community, as it provides meaningful connections during a time when people need it most.
“I’ve received a great amount of support from the Twist Out Cancer community,” Hindin said. From board members to staff to artists to other participants, I’ve found so many of these new connections to be so full of love and wanting to be there for me and help out in any way they can.”