January 11, 2016 - Issue: Vol. 162, No. 6 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 2nd Session
TRIBUTE TO MRS. SUZANNE WRIGHT; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 11, 2016)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E27] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] 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. ____________________