Statement From Autism Speaks

Nov 02, 2015, 13:19 ET from Autism Speaks

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Suzanne Wright, Autism Speaks Co-Founder and Board member, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Suzanne will take a leave of absence from her work with Autism Speaks to manage her medical care.

In 2005, Suzanne and Bob Wright co-founded Autism Speaks after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism. That same year, Suzanne and Phil Geier, Autism Speaks Board member and former Chairman and CEO of the Interpublic Group of Companies, created the iconic blue puzzle piece that has come to represent autism. Working with the Ad Council and BBDO Worldwide, Suzanne and Bob Wright launched a ten year PSA autism awareness campaign that has earned nearly $600 million in donated media. Over the last ten years, Suzanne has led the organization's signature global awareness initiatives. She was instrumental in establishing April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations, launched our global Light It Up Blue campaign, and established World Focus on Autism, Autism Speaks' annual meeting of First Ladies from around the globe.

Suzanne is an inspiration to all of us. She is known to countless families for her personal notes and generosity, as well as for her leadership and support of many of Autism Speaks Walks around the country. During this time, the Autism Speaks family will keep Suzanne in its thoughts and continue to be motivated by her example.

Liz Feld                                                                      
President, Autism Speaks    

Brian Kelly
Chairman of the Board, Autism Speaks

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $570 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in nearly 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


SOURCE Autism Speaks