Colors of Systemic Mastocytosis: Expressions of Life with SM Participant Page
Exhibition and Celebration: July 13th, 2024, Indianapolis, IN.

Welcome to the Twist Out Cancer Family!

On behalf of the Twist Out Cancer Staff, Board, and Brushes with Cancer Host Committee it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Twist Out Cancer family! We are so grateful that you have taken this step toward sharing, connecting and healing.  Over the next few months you will be digging deep into your systemic mastocytosis journey and connecting with your esteemed artist. We recognize that opening up and creating artwork inspired by someone else’s story is no easy task! Your mentors are here to support you throughout this program. We hope you will take advantage of the peer to peer support programming and additional in person and virtual opportunities Twist has to offer. Below you will find updated information about the program, deadlines and upcoming events. If you have any questions about the process please do not hesitate to be in touch.

With love and gratitude,

Jenna Benn Shersher, MSW

Founder and CEO of Twist Out Cancer

The Program

Colors of SM: Expressions of Life with Systemic Mastocytosis is a systemic mastocytosis-specific art program developed in partnership between Blueprint Medicines Corporation and Twist Out Cancer. The Program is aimed at raising awareness of the experiences of those who are living with systemic mastocytosis.

This Program strategically matches artists (the “Artist”) with those affected by this diagnosis (the “Inspiration”) to create unique pieces of artwork reflective of their journey. Their relationships are guided and supported by Twist Out Cancer Staff.

*Blueprint Medicines is a pharmaceutical company studying oncology, hematology, and rare diseases. Twist Out Cancer is proud to partner with Blueprint to bring this program to their community.

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Program Begins: January 19, 2024
  • Orientation Call: January 24, 2024
  • Peer to Peer Session 1: February 5, 2024
  • Peer to Peer Session 2: April 8, 2024
  • Digital Assets Due: May 14th, 2024
  • FAQ Call: May 7, 202
  • Artwork Due: June 14th, 2024
  • Exhibition and Participant Reception: July 13th, 2024 in Indianapolis, IN

Program Expectations and Agreement

The Colors of Systemic Mastocytosis: Expressions of Life with SM program is designed to cultivate a connection between the artist and inspiration (with support from the mentor, and the TOC community as a whole). The art is a tangible product of that connection and intended to illustrate a part of their specific experience – either a moment or as a whole. Willingness to share is required of both the artist and the inspiration. The artist is charged with listening and extracting elements from the inspiration’s experience to integrate into the art. The inspiration is not encouraged to direct or dictate the composition of the art work. It is an exchange of trust that can generate unexpected interactions and meaningful connections.

In order to participate, we require that all participants complete the program agreement.

Program Agreement
How to get started!
  1. Email your match to say hello and exchange additional information. Not sure how to get the conversation going? Check out our guide!
  2. Register for the peer-to-peer group for your role.
  3. Set a time to meet your match!
  4. Discuss when you will connect again. Aim for at least once every 3-4 weeks.
  5. Check in with your mentor if you have questions or issues. Also check in with your mentor after each connection just to confirm things are moving forward.
  6. Enjoy connecting with your match!
Brushes with Cancer Guide to Mental Health

The Brushes With Cancer experience is meant to provide healing, self-reflection, and an opportunity to build meaningful relationships no matter what stage of survivorship an inspiration may be in.  As they share their story, create new meaning, and relive memories that at times may be painful – it is normal to experience a range of emotions that can include negative emotions like sadness, grief, anxiety, or confusion.  Like all emotions, it is healthy to acknowledge and process through them and take steps to cope with them.  Doing so helps to build resilience.  Everyone copes differently: Some people go inward and find that journaling, creating art, taking a quiet walk in nature, listening to music, etc. are helpful.  While other people need to reach outside themselves to talk with a friend or family member, engage in a fun new activity, take an exercise class, join a support group (online or in-person), etc. to feel balanced again. 

Sometimes, however, negative emotions may persist or old unresolved issues may surface again that need the help of a professional to successfully work through.  If an inspiration finds themselves needing additional support, or an artist or mentor becomes concerned about their inspiration’s mental health, please reach out our Clinical Director, Ana Gordon at She is a Clinical Licensed Oncology Social Worker with a decade of experience in mental health and oncology.  While the scope of Brushes with Cancer programming does not provide individualized clinical supports like psychotherapy, the Clinical Director can help to connect a participant with mental health resources in their community. 

Everyone should have access to the mental health care they need.  In the spirit of that, below is a collection of resources designed for cancer survivors at all stages of survivorship: 

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline):
  • Understanding Systemic Mastocytosis
Past Program Books and Online Galleries

For the last 10 years, Brushes with Cancer has impacted over 46,000 people worldwide. We have held over 30 programs. As you embark on your journey with Twist Out Cancer we encourage you to check out the artwork and stories that inspired them from previous programs.

Brushes with Cancer Midwest 2021

Brushes with Cancer Northeast 2021

Brushes with Cancer at General Motors 2020


Featured Auction

The Brushes with Cancer Online Art Auction and Exhibition will be available for viewing 3 weeks in advance of the big event. Participants have the opportunity to purchase their artwork outright or bid on it in advance of the big event. All proceeds raised from the art auction go right back into funding the Brushes with Cancer program.

Your Team
Photo of Jenna Benn Shersher
Jenna Benn Shersher
Twist Out Cancer Founder and CEO
Amelia Hanrahan
Amelia Hanrahan
Twist Out Cancer Chief Operating Officer
August Spree
Twist Out Cancer Director of Programs
Ana Gordon
Ana Gordon, LCSW, OCW-C
Twist Out Cancer Clinical Director