Award to be conferred at the 28th Annual CHN Golf Classic at the Crestmont Country Club in West Orange, NJ

Chester, N.J., June 5, 2023Cancer Hope Network (CHN), the first and one of the nation’s leading peer-to-peer cancer support organizations, announced today that they will award Claudio Pannunzio with the 2023 Michael Kzirian “Flame of Courage” award during the 28thAnnual CHN Golf Classic in West Orange, NJ.

Pannunzio is a two-time cancer survivor and a Cancer Hope Network Support Volunteer mentor. He is recognized for having demonstrated exceptional courage, spirit and determination in the face of cancer, for providing emotional support and making a meaningful impact on the lives of cancer patients, their families and their caregivers across a number of organizations in which he serves, including Yale New Haven Health-Greenwich Hospital.

“Cancer Hope Network’s Peer Support Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do– creating hope and empowering cancer patients and caregivers at any point in their journey, from pre-diagnosis, through diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship. Claudio Pannunzio joined our volunteer network in 2020 and has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of the patients and families we’ve paired him with,” said Beth Blakey, Executive Director & COO of Cancer Hope Network.

“Hope is a powerful tool for anyone facing adversity. For people experiencing cancer, the hope that comes from speaking with someone like Claudio who’s been there and ‘gets it’ can positively impact health outcomes and make cancer a little less scary and isolating. We are so grateful to Claudio for the many lives he’s touched and the difference he makes every day as a CHN Peer Support Volunteer. It is an honor and privilege to present him with the Michael Kzirian Flame of Courage Award at the CHN Annual Golf Classic on June 12th.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, as it commemorates our late board member and friend, Michael Kzirian, who has made an unforgettable contribution to CHN’s mission,” stated Pannunzio.  “With more than 18 million survivors living in the United States today, our mission to empower cancer patients and their loved ones with hope through one-on-one support is crucial. Every day, our nearly five hundred volunteer mentors walk the cancer path and selflessly share their personal journey with cancer to help address and alleviate the suffering of others.”

“Twice in my life I have experienced first-hand how cancer can affect an individual and their families. I wholeheartedly believe in CHN’s mission and in the services we provide. Our support and daily interactions with patients from diagnosis, through treatment and into recovery truly make a difference in their lives. CHN’s cause is at the core of my motivation, and it is an absolute honor for me to receive this award,” Pannunzio added.

CHN’s survivor and caregiver volunteer mentors provide free and confidential support from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. These trained volunteers, who live in 38 US states and Canada, have faced more than 98% of the cancers that will be diagnosed this year. They range in age from 19 to 94 and speak 15 languages. As a result, CHN mentors can provide individualized support for clients based on their greatest needs.

The Michael Kzirian Flame of Courage Award, as well as the inaugural Cancer Hope Network Corporate Philanthropic Leadership Award, will be presented at the cocktail reception of the 28thAnnual CHN Golf Classic on June 12, 2023 at the Crestmont Country Club in Orange, NJ.

About Cancer Hope Network

Based in Chester, NJ, Cancer Hope Network is the first and one of the nation’s leading peer-to-peer cancer support organizations. Founded over 40 years ago to combat the fear and isolation faced by cancer patients, the organization pairs-up individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers with volunteers who currently are on their cancer journey. Ranging from age 19 to 94, CHN’s volunteers are present in 38 US states and Canada and speak 15 languages. For more information visit