Brushes With Cancer


By Jenna Benn, Founder of  Twist Out Cancer- A Support Network...with a twist. An ROI Micro Grant helped to fund Twist Out Cancer's official 2013 launch party "Brushes With Cancer: Pairing Survivors with Artists to Create for a Cause," in Chicago, Illinois.

On April 17, 2013 over 350 people joined Twist Out Cancer for their official launch party titled “Brushes With Cancer: Pairing Survivors with Artists to Create for a Cause,” at Floating World Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.

Brushes With Cancer was an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate  survivorship and hope through art, music and storytelling. Over the last few months, survivors from around the world were asked to share their “Twist On Cancer,” (lessons learned, fighting strategies and new perspectives) with our online community of support. Their ‘twists’ served as the inspiration for artists to create unique pieces of art. The art was showcased and auctioned during the event.

18 survivors and 18 artists participated in Brushes With Cancer-  a number that signifies hope, renewal, and life. Over the last four months, the survivor and artists paired experienced unexpected and deep friendships. Survivors had the opportunity to process their experiences with cancer, and the artists had the artistic challenge to articulate this journey in a creative and meaningful way.

Throughout the evening survivors had the opportunity to share their twists on cancer. My dear friend, mentor and soon to be ROI participant Ethan Zohn served as the keynote speaker.

The evening was of particular significance to me because I was able to see firsthand the lives that we were touching. While Twist Out Cancer is predominantly a web-based community- it became clear that there is no replacement for face to face interaction.  I was overwhelmed and grateful to be able to witness firsthand the lives of those we are affecting and it has further solidified my desire to address the psycho-social needs of cancer survivors and supporters.

The support of the ROI community throughout this process has been tremendous. I am so grateful for your generous contribution to our event and look forward to the continued relationship in the years to come.

Below is a video of the event. Enjoy!