Runway of Resilience

About the Program

September 29th, 2024: Chicago, IL
Salvage One, 1840 W Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60622


Join us for an evening of inspiration, creativity, and resilience at Twist Out Cancer’s Runway of Resilience fashion show. This unique event brings together former Brushes with Cancer designers who will be creating unique designs that will be modeled by individuals touched by cancer. 

At  Runway of Resilience, the runway becomes a symbol of strength and courage. Former Brushes with Cancer artists pour their experiences, emotions, and creativity into each design, reflecting the diverse stories of those impacted by cancer. These designs will be worn proudly by models who have faced their own journeys with cancer, showcasing strength, resilience and hope.

Learn more by checking out the program FAQs.


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The Artists
Sujata Gazder
Brushes with Cancer Artist and Fashion Designer
As a little girl growing up in India, Sujata Gazder was fascinated by the sumptuous, glittering world of the country’s fashion and art. The rich brocades of Banares, the exquisite pietra dura mosaics at the Taj Mahal, and the way women wrapped saris to look as cool as a great pair of jeans all contributed to her belief in the stunning impact of well-placed details.
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Mahwish Syed
Brushes with Cancer Inspiration and Fashion/Interior Designer
Mahwish Syed is an award-winning fashion and interior designer, best-selling author, cancer survivor, and a proud mother. She has dressed bodies and houses for more than two decades. She designs beautiful environments that heal and nourish her clients, which have been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. Her best-selling book PURGATORY TO PARADISE describes her cancer journey, how she healed through design, and is available on Amazon and Audible.
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Sonya Keshwani
Brushes with Cancer Inspiration, Twist Out Cancer Board Member, and Founder of StyleEsteem 
Sonya Keshwani, the founder of StyleEsteem Wardrobe, has an inspiring story of resilience and creativity. As a breast cancer survivor, she experienced the challenges of losing her hair to chemotherapy at the young age of 29. Frustrated with the limited options available for head coverings, she decided to take matters into her own hands and design her own solution. Being a creative person, Sonya drew from her love of fashion and began visiting a fabric shop after each chemotherapy infusion and experimented with her mom’s sewing machine. As her personal turban collection started to grow, so did her confidence, as she regained her voice and power through this new passion. Inspired by the elegant and feminine silhouette of the turban, she made the bold move and launched StyleEsteem Wardrobe, the first fashion label to design headwear according to the season and occasion.
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Anna Warner Mayes
Brushes with Cancer Inspiration and Founder of the Lipstick Journey
Every woman's life takes a different path; mother, daughter, sister, friend. I am all of these, plus I have cancer. This has been my journey for over 10 years, and the fight is real. I am a fighter. ​ A lot has changed for me in the past decade, but what has not is my relationship with lipstick. I have always loved it, and because of my theater experience I learned about the transformative power of color at a young age.
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Founded by Zara Tisch, Supporter of Twist Out Cancer
When Zara Terez Tisch and Amanda Schabes Zeligman were growing up they spent their nights and weekends writing songs and screenplays that they performed in Terez Tisch’s basement. Two decades later, you can sense the same creativity walking into their offices at Terez, the clothing brand they founded together, where the spark that united them as kids prevails as they sing renditions of RENT and chat about their favorite foods (BBQ for Terez Tisch and anything chocolate for Schabes) in between meetings.
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Expressing Individuality and Confidence

We believe that fashion plays a powerful role in expressing individuality and confidence, especially for those who have faced challenging experiences. By showcasing unique and empowering designs, we hope to inspire and uplift both the participants and attendees and raise money for the mission and work of Twist Out Cancer which provides psychosocial support to individuals touched by cancer through creative arts programming.

Live Runway

Featuring Couture Designs by Sujata Gazder. High End Head Pieces by Sonya Keshwani and more.


All participating runway models have been touched by cancer and have been active members of the Twist Out Cancer community.


*One of a kind gown pictured right was created for Brushes with Cancer by Sujata Gazder

"Runway of Resilience" Sponsorship Levels and Tickets

“Runway of Resilience” relies on generous sponsors to celebrate the strength, resilience, and beauty of individuals who have been touched by cancer. Please explore our sponsorship levels below.

Tickets include live entertainment, cocktails, seated dinner, unique art experiences and access to the runway show.

Check out the Runway of Resilience Sponsorship Brochure

Purchase Sponsorship and Tickets
Participating Partners





Support The Community
The Team

Executive Board Members

Jenna Benn Shersher- Founder, CEO and Board President

Andrew Edelston- Board Chair

Emma Peck Block

Erin Johnson

Alex Perry

Joelle Goldman Bilow

Kathleen Boord

Joshua Taustein

Dr. Christian Squillante

Jon Goldberg

Howard Aaron

Jennifer L. Katz Margolis

Cynthia Beck

Danny Glick

Kevin Morgan

Jenny Indig

Mara McCarthy

Bari Fleischer

Mahwish Syed



Advisory Board Members

Jacqueline Carmody

Donna Dang

Jennifer Dee

Kenny Lapins

Gudrun Wu Synder

Jeffrey Guerrero

Dr. Martin Hogan

Anna Feneis

Ella Hawk

Kara Thomas

Bari Murphy

Shelby Zitelman

Tanya Kertsman

Joe Lombardo

Soraya Fata

Mignon Dupepe

Sonya Keshwani

Elizabeth Tabas




Jenna Benn Shersher, Founder and CEO

Amelia Hanrahan, COO

August Spree, Director of Programming

Ana Gordon, Clinical Director

Jacqueline Carmody, Licensed Clinical Art Therapist

Lindsay Patton, Director of Digital Strategy

Jenna Koch, Social Work Intern