Jenna Benn Shersher Bio

Jenna Benn Shersher is a 41-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, which at the time, affected fewer than 200 people.


Instead of surrendering to cancer, she was determined 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 that became invested in her fight. Within a year, Jenna battled cancer and founded the nonprofit organization, Twist Out Cancer.


Today, Jenna is the CEO of Twist Out Cancer, which 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. 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 146,000 people around the world.


Jenna’s story was selected as a top ten best read by Mashable and has been featured in Forbes, CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Lancet Haematology, and the Wall Street Journal. Jenna is a mentor angel with Imerman Angels, and was an Honored Hero and advocate for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She was recognized as a Health Hero by Philadelphia Magazine and a Social Innovations finalist in entrepreneurship by the Social Innovations Journal. She is an ROI fellow with the Schusterman Foundation and serves on the board of the Anti-Defamation League.


Jenna received her Bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Masters in Social Enterprise and Administration from Columbia University. She resides in Bryn Mawr, Pa. with her husband Dr. David Shersher and their daughters Noa Pearl and Lilou Ruth, who are both miracles.


More information on Twist Out Cancer is available at



Covid-19 Policy 2022

Twist Out Cancer is committed to keeping the health and safety of our members  a top priority. We are relying on our supporters to keep our community safe, particularly for those who are immunocompromised or who are caring for others. We are implementing safety protocols to ensure the well-being of our attendees and staff. These safety protocols are subject to change based on updated guidance and requirements from federal, state and local authorities. By registering for an event, you are agreeing to these safety standards, however they may need to be adjusted and we will communicate changes as quickly as possible. 

Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer 2022 COVID-19 GUIDELINES

Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer continues to plan for  hybrid events (in-person with online viewing and participation options). Recognizing that the Covid-19 landscape is changing rapidly, our best path is to continue to monitor direction from local and state public health authorities.

The safety of our attendees is a top priority. All credentialed Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer participants & guests will be required to provide proof of a completed primary vaccination series against Covid-19 or a recent negative Covid-19 test in order to collect and maintain their credentials. Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer will accept all vaccines approved by the CDC for travel to the US. Attendees are highly encouraged to receive a booster vaccination, if eligible.

All policies and mitigation efforts remain subject to applicable laws and public health guidance and the circumstances at the time of the event. We will have more information soon as our policy evolves with specifics regarding testing, masking and social distancing.

In addition to the above credential protocols, the following mitigation measures will be in place:

  • Attendees, Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer Staff and Volunteers are asked to adhere to Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer’s Health Pledge (see below) while attending or working all Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer affiliated events.
  • All Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer staff and volunteers on-site at the event will have shown proof of vaccination 48 hours in advance of the event date.
  • On-site testing requirements may be a component of maintaining your credentials.
  • Masks are required indoors.
  • Social distancing of at least 6’ (approximately 2m) is recommended, when possible.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout conference and exhibition venues.
  • Increased public health signs, reminders, and messaging to support the importance of COVID-19 mitigation measures and good hygiene practices will be visible throughout Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer venues.

Additional measures and updates will be provided closer to the event. Check back often and look for email updates or social announcements.

Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer HEALTH PLEDGE

You are committed to:

  • Adhering to Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer’s COVID-19 policies and mitigation measures.
  • Wearing masks properly when required, over both the nose and mouth.
  • Practicing respiratory etiquette when masks are not required, such as covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Exercising good hygiene, such as frequently washing or sanitizing your hands.
  • Staying up to date with CDC’s recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters approved by the CDC for travel to the US.

You will not participate in or attend any Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer affiliated event if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not completed CDC’s guidelines for discontinuing isolation.
  • You are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Within the previous 5 days, you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but you have not completed the Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines recommended by the CDC.

Twist Out Cancer/Brushes with Cancer supports individual efforts and personal responsibility in combating COVID-19 and reserves the right to revoke or suspend access to anyone in connection with this Pledge in service of the health and safety of its attendees and participants.

In the event an attendee tests positive for COVID-19 after attending a Twist Out Cancer hosted/held event, the attendee will notify Twist Out Cancer staff immediately so that all event attendees can be alerted to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.  All event registrants are agreeing to hold harmless Twist Out Cancer® and any affiliated local associations, businesses, vendors, and their respective agents and employees, from any and all claims and liability resulting from exposure to COVID-19 as a result of attending such an event. By registering for a Twist Out Cancer event, you have agreed to all of the above.

Optional Info- Q&A

Q: Are tickets to Brushes with Cancer events refundable?

  1. Event tickets are non-refundable. If you cannot attend or if the in-person event is cancelled guests will be granted access to the Virtual Program & Events for an at home experience. Tickets will be acknowledged as a charitable donation for the full value.

Q: If public health conditions change where the event is located will the private participant gathering be canceled?

A: The wellbeing of our community is our first priority.  Any in-person event cancellations/reschedules would be announced in advance of the gathering. Virtual Celebrations will remain uninterrupted. 

Tanya Kertsman

Tanya Kertsman, PharmD

Advisory Board, Pharmacist & Writer 

Philadelphia, PA 

Tanya Kertsman is a pharmacist, writer, and social media enthusiast. She has been working with Twist Out Cancer since 2019 on Philadelphia-based Brushes with Cancer events. Prior to joining Twist, Tanya worked in medical affairs in the pharmaceutical industry and was responsible for communicating medical information to healthcare providers. She finds meaning in empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to advocate for themselves and make well-informed health decisions. 

Tanya received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Rutgers University. She was born in Russia, raised in New Jersey and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three young children. She has an affinity for booking last minute travel adventures, discovering new books, and initiating impromptu dance and lip syncing parties in the kitchen with her kids – spatulas optional. 

Kenny Lapins

Kenny Lapins is a professional writer, painter, cancer survivor, and father of two loving daughters. His association with Twist out Cancer started in 2014 when Kenny was a copywriter on a pro bono creative rally for TOC. Since then, he has taken up painting and has been privileged to be an artist for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Brushes With Cancer events. Being associated with Twist Out Cancer, and serving on the Advisory Board, has been Kenny’s biggest honor.

Shelby Zitelman Bio

Shelby Zitelman is the Sr. VP of Business Development at Zitelman Partners, where she is responsible for developing relationships with new Operating and Investor Partners, marketing, and overseeing the firm’s internal operations.

Previously Shelby worked in start-up management and operations – most recently as the co-founder and COO of Soom Foods.  She is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shelby lives in Center City Philadelphia with her husband, Dan Stamm, and their three fun-loving boys, Malcolm, Julius and Simon.  She enjoys spending her time exploring kid-friendly Philadelphia, hiking the area’s nature trails, practicing yoga in 20-minute increments and supporting various local non-profits.