TRIBUTE TO MRS. SUZANNE WRIGHT; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 11, 2016)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E27]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                     TRIBUTE TO MRS. SUZANNE WRIGHT


                       HON. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, January 11, 2016

  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, last April I had the privilege 
of joining with Autism Speaks to ring the closing bell at the New York 
Stock Exchange (NYSE) marking World Autism Awareness Day.
   World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to highlight the 
progress we have made to better understand Autism Spectrum Disorder 
(ASD) and assist impacted families, but to also raise awareness of the 
significant challenges that remain--both in the U.S. and abroad. World 
Autism Awareness Day is one of only seven U.N.-sanctioned `world days.'
   For eight years in a row, major landmarks, organizations and 
everyday Americans ``light it up blue,'' to raise awareness and bring 
additional resources to assist families impacted by autism. This year's 
events are scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd.
   The light it up blue campaign was launched by Autism Speaks co-
founder and board member, Suzanne Wright--a tenacious, dedicated and 
committed leader whose contributions have made, and continue to make, a 
real and tangible difference in the lives of individuals with ASD and 
their families.
   By way of background, in 2005 Suzanne and Bob Wright co-founded 
Autism Speaks after their grandson Christian was diagnosed with autism. 
Every day since, for over a decade now, Suzanne has led through her 
work at the organization and through personal examples of generosity 
and compassion.
   As the Co-chair of the Congressional Coalition for Autism Research 
and Education and Chairman of the House Subcommittee that oversees 
global health, I have worked with Suzanne and Bob Wright to craft, and 
shepherd into law, legislation that will boost research, services and 
support for individuals with ASD, including the Autism Collaboration, 
Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014 (Autism 
CARES/Public Law 113-157) and the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act 
(PL 112-32).
   I recently learned that Suzanne Wright has been diagnosed with 
pancreatic cancer and is taking a leave of absence from her work with 
Autism Speaks to manage her medical care.
   While there are many talented professionals who will carry the torch 
during Suzanne's leave and build on Suzanne's legacy at Autism Speaks, 
there will be a gaping hole only she can fill.
   I am hopeful that my colleagues will join me in keeping Suzanne, her 
husband Bob, and the entire Wright family in our thoughts and prayers 
during these difficult days. And in Suzanne's honor, I call on all of 
us to redouble our efforts and work even harder to ensure that we do 
everything within our power to assist families touched by autism.