Tennis Champion Chris Evert, TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and congressional spouse Abby Blunt are honored by Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Program


Kyra Meister

Washington, D.C. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program® held its 29th Annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards luncheon on Wednesday, September 21 on Capitol Hill, its first in-person awards ceremony in three years. This year’s event honored Chris Evert, tennis champion; Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of “TODAY” and co-host of “TODAY” with Hoda & Jenna; and Abby Blunt, spouse of Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. Discovery ID’s Paula Zahn served as the master of ceremonies.

Ms. Kotb sent a video message expressing her appreciation for the honor.

The nonpartisan Congressional Families Program hosts this signature event, which is widely attended by members of Congress and their spouses, as well as leaders in the cancer prevention community, to recognize the significant efforts of those using their platforms to educate the public about cancer prevention and early detection.

“Each of our honorees this year exemplifies how sharing our personal stories can inspire others to take charge of their health,” said Lisa McGovern, Executive Director of the Congressional Families Program. “Early detection can save lives, but many people have put off their routine cancer screenings the past few years. We commend this year’s award recipients–each of whom have deep and meaningful connections with the public– for giving people the extra encouragement they may need to get those appointments back on the books.”

More about the 2022 honorees:

Chris Evert, Excellence in Cancer Awareness Award. Former world No. 1 tennis player and winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, Ms. Evert was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021. Several years prior, her sister Jeanne was diagnosed with the same cancer at a later stage; after her death, doctors discovered a rare mutation of the BRCA gene had been the cause. Ms. Evert’s cancer—a type that is often caught too late to be effectively treated—was detected early following preventive surgery and genetic testing. Ms. Evert credits her late sister with saving her life.

Hoda Kotb, Distinguished Service in Journalism Award. Ms. Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42 after her gynecologist discovered a lump during a routine exam. Several months after her diagnosis, she began a new role as co-host of the fourth hour of “TODAY” and opened up to viewers about her experience through an interview and video diary. As a trusted figure whom millions of Americans invite into their homes every weekday, Ms. Kotb serves as both a source for the latest medical news related to breast cancer prevention and early detection and as an inspiration for those who have been touched by cancer.

Abby Blunt (spouse of Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri), Congressional Families Leadership Award. Mrs. Blunt has been a longstanding member of the Congressional Families Program Advisory Committee and has served as a leader on the Executive Council since 2018. For more than two decades, she has participated in events and educational briefings and has shared information about cancer prevention and early detection to raise awareness in Missouri and beyond. Her family has been touched by cancer personally; Sen. Blunt is a three-time cancer survivor.


About the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program®

The Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program® is a nonpartisan initiative to increase the public’s understanding of cancer prevention and early detection. Families of Senate, House, Cabinet and Supreme Court members are invited to work within their respective constituencies—and nationwide—to raise awareness and reduce risk for these diseases.

When the Congressional Families Program launched in 1991 as a partnership between the Prevent Cancer Foundation and The Congressional Club, initial efforts focused on breast cancer. The success of the Program’s first five years led to the expansion of its scope to include colorectal, liver, lung, oral, prostate, skin, testicular and cervical cancers, as well as HPV-related cancers. The Program offers participants educational seminars, talking points, op-eds, letters to the editor, speeches, videos, program ideas and many more tools to use in their districts and beyond. With these tools, the Congressional Families Program takes the message of cancer prevention and early detection into communities across the U.S.

For more information, please visit

About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated.

The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.

For more information, please visit