Lisa McGovern Headshot

Each fall, the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention program hosts an annual awards luncheon to  recognize the activities of Congressional spouses, Members of Congress, the press and community advocates who have distinguished themselves by their work to educate the public on cancer prevention, early detection and reducing our risks for this disease. This unique Capitol Hill event brings together a bipartisan, bicameral group of spouses and Members of Congress – along with leaders in the cancer community – for an hour of unity to renew our commitment to fight cancer, and recognize the work of those who inspire us through their efforts.

(L. to R.) Freda Manzullo, Julie Reichert (spouse of Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) & Lisa McGovern

Over the next few months, we profile the individuals receiving the 2011 awards this September at our 19th Annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards luncheon. The 2011 Congressional Families Leadership Award will be presented to Freda Manzullo, wife of Congressman Don Manzullo of Illinois. This award honors a spouse or Congressional family member who makes a noted contribution in the field of cancer awareness.  A cancer survivor herself, Freda became “acutely aware of the fact that cancer seems to touch almost every family in one form or another” and made it her mission to raise awareness, especially in her home district in Illinois. Freda is active in the cancer community by participating in events to raise awareness and funds for cancer, such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night campaign. She also speaks at these events and her message is always one of hope. Freda firmly believes that “early detection is the number one factor in a patient achieving a favorable outcome.”  She also supports efforts to raise money for research both for cancer prevention and treatment, as well as to study the long term effects of treatment.

After battling lymphoma in 2006, Freda has shown tremendous strength and courage in her campaign to raise awareness. She is a respected wife, mother, Congressional spouse (Freda serves as President of the Republican spouses), advocate and survivor. Freda is beloved by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her grace and generosity of spirit.

We are honored to recognize her with our Congressional Families Leadership award. She is an inspiration to us all and we look forward to continuing our campaign for early detection and prevention with her by our side.