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May 13, 2016 

Revel Fulton Market 

1215 Fulton Market, Chicago, Illinois

 

Brushes with Cancer provides psychosocial support  

to those touched by cancer to improve  

the quality of life for cancer patients, their family and loved ones,  

through a unique art experience.

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Brushes with Cancer Leadership

Jenna Benn Shersher - Founder & Executive Director
Alana Dugandzic - Board Chair USA, Executive Board Member
Tom McNamara - Executive Board Member, Chair of Logistics
Emma Peck Block - Executive Board Member, Brushes with Cancer Mentor
Noreen Karadsheh - Advisory Board Member, Chair of Logistics
Andrew Edelston - Executive Board Member
Dr. Katy Heiden - Executive Board Member
Jennifer Katz Margolis - Advisory Board Member
Deb Fox - Advisory Board Member
Eryn Bizar - Advisory Board Member
Erin Green - Advisory Board Member
Shawn Green - Advisory Board Member
David Shersher - Host Committee Member
Leeatt Rothschild - Host Committee Member, Brushes with Cancer Mentor
Ivan Dugandzic - Host Committee Member
August Spree - Host Committee Member
Jason Felde - Host Committee Member
Amy Berger - Host Committee Member
Gerry Landy - Host Committee Member
Marilyn Heckmeyer - Host Committee Member
Alyssa Judlo - Host Committee Member, Featured Artist

Canadian Chapter Leadership

Dan Hadad Aviad -Board Chair Canada, Executive Board Member
Dan Fricker - Board Member - Director of Social Media
Sarina Rehal - Board Member- Canada
Ryla Braemer - Board Member Canada
Sharon Marcushamer - Board Member Canada
April Gibson - Board Member Canada
Paul W. Tye - Board Member Canada
Jamie Ellerton - Board Member Canada

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  

 

Brushes with Cancer Leadership ............................................................................................. 2
Twist Out Cancer Community .................................................................................................. 4
Get Involved .................................................................................................................................. 6
What is Brushes with Cancer? ................................................................................................. 7
Silent Auction Rules .................................................................................................................... 7
Program .......................................................................................................................................... 8
Participating Artists and Subjects .........................................................................................14
Meet the Matches and the Artwork .......................................................................................15
Traveling Exhibition from the Ann Arbor Voices Gallery ...............................................46
Sponsors ....................................................................................................................................... 57

A MESSAGE FROM JENNA BENN SHERSHER,  

Founder and Executive Director of Twist Out Cancer

Gratitude

It has been quite a journey.

A journey measured in moments, markers, and finish lines.

A journey artistically preserved in hypercolor.

A journey that may have started with the three words, “you have cancer,” but has 

ended with, “No Evidence of Disease.”

I may not be able to choose the cards that I am dealt but my response, my narrative, 

my journey, is my choice.

Over the last few years, with the help of countless people, we have transformed my 

story into a larger movement. 

Twist Out Cancer’s foundation is built on hope, is stabilized by support, and is se-

cured by the belief that when you share, the world opens up.

Twist Out Cancer emerged out of desperation, blossomed out of loneliness, and 

grew from despair. 

Today this movement continues to grow because of you.

To the countless friends, family and strangers that lifted me out of the shadows and 

into the sunlight, I thank you.

And to the legions of tiny twisters who believe in Twist Out Cancer,  we would not 

be here without you.

We hope you will continue to... 

Share. Connect. Heal.

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WHAT IS TWIST OUT CANCER?

Twist out Cancer is a global community for anyone touched by cancer to create, 
support 

and 

inspire.     

The Story

When 29-year-old Jenna Benn Shersher was undergoing cancer treatment in 2010 
for a rare form of lymphoma, she felt disconnected from the world. Isolated at home 
because of a compromised immune system, she longed to do something she hadn’t 
done since she was well...dance. 

 

 

 

And so she did. With Chubby Checker’s, “The Twist,” blasting in the background, she 
recorded herself twisting her heart out. When she posted the video on Facebook, 
she had one simple request, “Please join me on the dance floor!”. The response was 
astounding. Within days, Jenna was flooded with hundreds of videos of thousands of 
people from across the globe, all twisting. These videos came from people she knew 
and perfect strangers. There were people twisting at work, at home, and even from the 
hospital.

“As they twisted, I was able to tiptoe out of my room and join the world,” recalled Jen-
na. “I no longer felt alone, but instead connected to and supported by a community of 
twisters.” It was then that Jenna made a vow that once she had completed treatment 
she would give back in a meaningful way. And so, Twist Out Cancer was born. 

 

   

Twist Out Cancer 

  

“My mom had breast cancer and throughout the process, I was the primary person 
helping her,” said a young woman named Emma. “Most of my friends would ask 
about my mom, but they didn’t think to ask about me. It was difficult because I was 
struggling to care for her, and I also needed support”. Twist Out Cancer creates exact-
ly that - a place of support for everyone who needs it. 

 

What began as a light-hearted way for anyone touched by cancer to connect has 
turned into a global community of support and inspiration. Established in 2011 as a 
nonprofit organization, Twist Out Cancer (TOC) offers the platform, tools and com-
munity  – both online and offline – for anyone touched by cancer to feel connected 
to a community and for many to take action. TOC does this through our website, 
Brushes with Cancer, Twist-Shops and Health and Awareness Third Party Events. 

 

     

Website

Twist Out Cancer (www.twistoutcancer.org ) is a platform that allows anyone to cre-
ate a profile page and a personal “Call to Action”. Through videos, photos or essays, 
those touched by cancer are able to share their unique “twist on cancer”. Sample 
posts have included everything from “I’m in the midst of chemotherapy and have lost 
all of my taste buds...Host a dinner party, and tell me what it tastes like” to “Help me”. 

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Kiss Away Cancer. Kiss a friend, a family member or a stranger on the street, and 
snap a quick selfie while you do so. Then share your photo [on social media].” So far, 
TOC’s online presence has touched nearly 300,000 people across the world – and 
the numbers keep growing. In a 90-day period alone, there were 7,100 interactions by 
6,200 unique users with TOC’s website, creating 2.4 million impressions on Facebook 
and 

Twitter. 

   

Brushes with Cancer

 

   

This unique celebration of survivorship and hope pairs those touched by cancer (pre-
vivors, survivors and caregivers) with talented artists working in a variety of mediums. 
Those touched by cancer share their ‘twist on cancer’ – their stories, feelings and 
experiences – with the artist, which serves as the inspiration for the art. The program 
culminates with a celebratory annual event and fundraiser in which the pairs connect 
in person and the artwork is revealed for the first time and then auctioned to support 
TOC. Since its inception in 2012, 100 pairs have been matched, 100 works of art have 
been created, and thousands of people have participated in the celebratory events in 
the Chicagoland area. In 2015, Brushes with Cancer debuted in Detroit and Toronto, 
and in 2017 the program will launch in Tel Aviv and Philadelphia. “Telling my story in 
this context and through this creative process was better than any kind of therapy,” 
said Amy, who lost her mother to breast cancer and who is herself both a survivor of 
kidney cancer and a ‘previvor’ who was diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene.   

Twist-Shops

 

    

TOC workshops or, “Twist-Shops”, are educational workshops that provide individ-
uals touched by cancer with an opportunity to share their ‘twist on cancer,’ – their 
unique experiences – with everyone from teens to community members. Trained TOC 
facilitators lead groups in meaningful discussions related to the critical importance of 
psychosocial support and guide exercises that foster creativity and encourage team 
building. To date, over 10,000 people have engaged in Twist-Shops. TOC workshop 
community partners include Camp Chi, the University of Illinois, Northwestern Univer-
sity, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and Federation CJA in Montreal.

Health and Wellness Third Party Events 

  

TOC understands the importance of health and wellness – particularly mindfulness, 
strength and resilience – both during and after cancer treatment. Since 2011, over 
30,000 people have participated in health and wellness programs run by TOC in part-
nership with a variety of organizations, including Yoga for a Cause, Kick Out Cancer, 
an annual charity soccer match hosted by the head trainer of the Raiders FC, and 
participation in the Lurie Cancer Walk and 5k. This past summer marked an exciting 
partnership with TOC and Equinox gyms with the launch of a new series titled “Fit 
for a Cause”, which focused on exercise during and after treatment. In the winter of 
2015, Twist partnered with Whole Foods to provide “Dinner with a Twist,”a vegan and 
gluten free cooking class that informed participants of how to make healthy choices 
throughout 

survivorship. 

   

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The Need

 

   

“This organization empowers you,” said a cancer survivor. “It gives you a way out 
and helps you make your situation the best it can be. It allows you to focus on the 
positive as opposed to being victimized.” 

What makes TOC unique is its multi-tiered approach that gives anyone touched by 
cancer the support and community they need to no longer feel alone and the tools 
they crave to take action. TOC provides anyone, anywhere in the world, with the 
platform to create, support and inspire. As such, TOC’s reach is limitless, targeting 
everyone from the person who finds out that a dear friend has just been diag-
nosed with cancer and doesn’t know what to do, to those like Jenna, who feel that 
because of cancer, they have to sit out the dance. Since 2011, TOC has touched over 
73,000 lives through its programs and events. A labor of love, TOC is completely 
volunteer-led, boasting a network of over 200 active volunteers serving as ambas-
sadors in Chicago, Detroit, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Montreal. Committed Executive 
and Advisory Boards further serve to support through their volunteerism. 

GET INVOLVED

Twist Out Cancer is a community that celebrates creativity, encourages engage-
ment, and believes in the importance of giving back. 

TOC volunteers, aka, “Tiny Twisters,” donate their time, expertise, and passion to 
help create a network of support and hope. It is thanks to their commitment and 
hard work that the TOC community continues to grow and thrive. For more infor-
mation on volunteering, please visit the volunteer section of our website.  

We hope you will join us.

BRUSHES WITH CANCER

Brushes with Cancer strategically matches artists with those touched by cancer to 
create unique pieces of artwork reflective of their journey. Over a period of 4 months, 
pairs connect in person, via Skype, on the phone or by email. Their relationships are 
guided and supported by Brushes with Cancer Mentors with the intention of creating 
a support system for both the artist and subject. The program finishes on a high note 
with our signature celebratory art exhibition and gala where the artwork is revealed 
for the fist time. This program is brought to you by Twist Out Cancer with the gener-
ous support of the sponsors featured throughout this program.

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TONIGHT

ART:

 TOC paired 43 volunteer artists with 43 survivors, previvors and caregivers and 

challenged the artists to create original works of art inspired by their subject’s unique 
“twists” on cancer. The artist-subject pairs began their relationships through the TOC 
website and various social media outlets. Working closely together over a period 
of several months, these relationships developed into systems of support both on 
and off the Internet. The resulting artwork, which comes in a variety of media, is the 
centerpiece of Brushes with Cancer. The artwork will be on display and up for auction 
at Revel Fulton Market.  Proceeds will go towards furthering the mission and vision of 
Twist Out Cancer.

MUSIC: 

Palter Ego, Dr. Draw and DJ John Simmons

STORYTELLING: 

Jenna Benn Shersher and Jonny Imerman will share their twists on 

cancer and the importance of giving back.  

TWISTING: 

Dedicated twists and calls to action will be put out on social media by 

survivors, previvors and caregivers throughout the evening.

RULES OF THE SILENT AUCTION

 

To sign up to bid in the silent auction, please complete the  bid sheet in its en-
tirety.

 

A bid is construed as a legal agreement to purchase the listed item(s) at the 
amount indicated.

 

All bidders must be 18 years of age or above.

 

All winning bids must be settled before the end of the event by cash, check or 
credit card.

 

The auction will close at 10:15 PM, at which time the highest bid on each bid 
sheet will be declared the winner.

 

Twist Out Cancer is acting as a consignee of the art for the purposes of this 
auction. All sales are final, as is, and are between the artist and the buyer.

 

If conflict arises over identifying the last valid bid for an item(s), or in the event 
there is any confusion over any of the rules or procedures of this auction, Twist 
Out Cancer reserves the right to determine the winner or to impose an alternate 
method of closing the item for interested parties, including, but not limited to, 
cancelling the sale or requiring a sealed final bid. All Twist Out Cancer decisions 
are final and binding on all participants.

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PROGRAM

 

6:00- 7:00 PM 

VIP Reception

   Dr. 

Draw 

Performance

 

 

 

Flamenco Guitar by David DaCosta

 

 

 

VIP Program Honoring Participants

 

7:00-8:30 PM 

Cocktail Hour &  

 

 

 

Music provided by DJ John Simmons

 

8:30-8:45 PM 

Dr. Draw Performance

 

 

 

Opening Remarks by EMCEE

   Jonny 

Imerman 

Remarks

 

 

 

Why Twist? Remarks by Twist Out Cancer Founder  

 

 

 

and Executive Director, Jenna Benn Shersher

 

8:45-8:55 PM 

Brushes with Cancer Video

 

9:00-10:00 PM 

Palter Ego Performs

 

10:00 - Midnight  DJ John Simmons Spins

 

 

 

Twist Off/Dedicated Twists/Dance Party

 

 

 

Dance Lesson by Jenna Stworzyjanek and  

   Jonathan 

Dyer 

 

10:15 PM   

Silent Auction Closes

 

 

 

50/50 Winners are Announced

 

 

 

Paint by Numbers Live Auction

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PARTICIPATING SPEAKERS

Jenna Benn Shersher,

 Founder and Executive Director  

of Twist Out Cancer

Jenna Benn Shersher is a 34 year old cancer survivor, 
civil rights advocate, world traveler and tiny twister who 
dreams big. In December 2010, Jenna was diagnosed with 
a rare blood disorder called Grey Zone Lymphoma that 
at the time affected fewer than 200 people in the United 
States. Instead of surrendering to cancer, she was deter-
mined to find meaning in her suffering. In the course of her 
fight, Jenna figured out creative ways to leverage social 

media to process her experience, and in turn create a community of tiny twisters 
that became invested in her fight. In the course of a year, Jenna battled cancer and 
started a nonprofit called Twist Out Cancer - a Support Community … With A Twist. 
Twist Out Cancer changes the way a survivor shares and the way a community 
gives. To date over 73,000 have twisted out cancer. Jenna’s story was selected as 
a top ten best read by Mashable. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and Oy 
Chicago and has made television appearances on CNN, NBC5, CBS, ABC7 and Fox 
News. She has also been featured in the New York Times, Mashable, LA Times, Wall 
Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. Jenna is a mentor angel 
with Imerman Angels, and serves on the Patient Advisory Board of Northwestern 
Hospital. In addition she is an Honored Hero and advocate for Team in Training and 
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. When Jenna isn’t twisting, you can find her 
working full-time at the Anti-Defamation League where she oversees young leader-
ship programming, media and PR, and international affairs advocacy.

Jonny Imerman

Jonny Imerman is a young adult cancer survivor who 
strives to make sure no one fights cancer without the 
support of someone who has already triumphed over the 
disease. After being diagnosed with testicular cancer at 
the age of 26, Jonny founded Imerman Angels, a non-prof-
it organization, which carefully matches a person touched 
by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone 

who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Imerman 
Angels now has more than 6,000 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers 
in its network, and has been featured by dozens of news organizations.

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VIP Reception Speakers

Brushes with Cancer Participants: Janel and Matt Gould

Matt and I both agree that our biggest take-away from 
our experiences with Cancer (patient and caregiver) is 
how we look at life or continue to look at life. We have 
always lived life with no regrets (separately and togeth-
er) and have never once looked back and said we need to 
make a list of all of the things that we want to do in our 
lifetime. Living life for us (with or without Cancer) has 
always been our top priority. We both feel lucky to have 
each other and to be traveling our journey together. The 
following quote sums up how we feel about life in gener-
al “Life Isn’t Fair But It’s Still Great”. Never stop living!!!!    

Heather Horton

Heather Horton was born and raised in Burlington, On-
tario, Canada. She attended McMaster University where 
she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. 
She then went on to graduate from the well-respected 
Interpretive Illustration program at Sheridan College. 
She has pursued her passion for painting ever since. 
Heather’s work can be found in private, corporate and 

public collections in Canada, The United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand 
and The United Kingdom. A selection of her paintings is now a part of the perma-
nent art collection at the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Heather has been 
profiled by Bravo!Canada on a series called The Artist’s Life. She is represented by 
Abbozzo Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. Heather currently lives and paints in Burling-
ton, Ontario.