Twist Out Cancer

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History and Mission of Twist Out Cancer

Twist Out Cancer is an international, non-profit charitable organization that provides psychosocial support to individuals touched by cancer through creative arts programming. The organization was founded on the principle that when you share, the world opens up.

After surviving Grey Zone Lymphoma in 2011, Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder and Executive Director, saw firsthand how people with cancer have a unique set of needs that are not being addressed or talked about. She found that one way of fulfilling this need is through creative arts, which could be used as a mechanism for coping and healing.

What started in 2012 as a small art exhibition in Chicago for 20 Inspirations and Artists has now become an international program that has touched over 40,000 people around the world.


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Brushes with Cancer - Connection in the Virtual Space



Brushes With Cancer Program

Brushes With Cancer is a six-month program that matches those touched by cancer (Inspirations) with artists to create a unique piece of artwork that reflects on their personal journey with cancer.  This unique celebration of survivorship and hope pairs previvors, survivors, and caregivers with talented artists working in a variety of mediums.  Those touched by cancer share their ‘twist on cancer’ – 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 artwork is revealed for the first time.

Over the past nine years, 17 Brushes With Cancer programs have been held in seven cities. In 2021, Twist Out Cancer will hold three Brushes With Cancer programs:

  • The Northeastern Program will begin at the end of March and the art exhibition and celebratory event will take place on Sunday, October 10, 2021. 25 Artists and 25 Inspirations have already been chosen to participate in the Northeastern Program.
  • The Midwestern Program will begin at the beginning of April and the art exhibition and celebratory event will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2021. 35 Artists and 35 Inspirations are already part of the Midwestern Program.
  • The Southern Program will begin at the beginning of July and the art exhibition and celebratory event will take place on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

The deadline to apply for the Southern Program is June 1.  Applications for Inspirations and Artists are available at here.


A Brushes with Cancer Story

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