For the past nine months, I have been volunteering with an organization called Twist Out Cancer, specifically the Brushes with Cancer program. I’m so excited to share my experience and tell you more about the program.
I’ve always thought that working in oncology at Merck as a pharmacist was a meaningful experience. Walking away to be a stay at home mom was a difficult decision but I know it was the right one for my family. When Jenna, a friend and the founder of Brushes with Cancer, reached out to me early this year to participate, it was perfect timing. I was hoping to maintain aspects of my life as a pharmacist even after leaving my full-time job. I just wasn’t sure how exactly I would go about doing that.
Volunteering with Brushes with Cancer turned out to be exactly what my soul needed. It has truly been an honor getting to know the participants and learning more about their experiences with Cancer. Understanding oncology from the perspective of art as a form of healing is so different than what I was already familiar with- guidelines and medications. Although both are critical, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore the psycho-social pathway as well.
The mission of Brushes with Cancer is to provide psycho-social support to those touched by cancer to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, their family and loved ones through a unique art experience. Artists are matched with those touched by cancer to create artwork that is reflective of their journey. Inspirations include survivors, previvers, caregivers and supporters. Over a sixth month period, fifty selected pairs connect and in the process, relationships are cemented. My role as a volunteer is to serve as a host committee member and mentor, providing support to the inspirations and artists when needed. At the end, a celebratory art exhibition, gala and auction takes place. The gala is tonight at Yards Brewery in Northern Liberties!
The event is sold out but if you’re interesting in learning more, check out the new Brushes with Cancer website here. There will be an auction during the gala for the art and various experiences. You can also access the auction live from home by clicking here. One hundred percent of the proceeds from art sales are reinvested into the program with a ‘pay it forward’ model. Therefore, you know your money is directly benefiting the participants. Any artwork that is not sold will be on display at the Old City Jewish Arts Center for the next month.
Side note, you can also vote for the founder, Jenna, for the Philly Health Challenge and help the organization win $15,000! I hope to see you at the gala tonight! I’m so excited to see everyone and experience what I know will be a memorable evening. Stay tuned for another post detailing how it all went down.
Image: Brushes with Cancer