Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright dies fighting pancreatic cancer

Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright dies fighting pancreatic cancer

At the age of 69, Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright died at her home in Connecticut on Friday. She died after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was with her family at her Fairfield home when she died. Wright founded Autism Speaks with her husband, former NBC CEO Bob Wright, in 2005.

Bob and Suzanne Wright founded the group after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism as 2½ years old. Autism Speaks funds research into the causes, prevention, treatment and a cure for autism. Autism Speaks says it has contributed more than $570 million funding to science and research.

Suzanne Wright fought for the United Nations to establish World Autism Day and the day was established in 2007 and April 2 was chosen as the day, which is dedicated to awareness about the disease. Suzanne Wright addressed the United Nations on World Autism Awareness Day eight times and during the event in 2014 she spoke at the Vatican's first conference on autism.

"For more than a decade, she has been a tireless advocate on the national and international stage: at the United Nations, on Capitol Hill, at Autism Speaks Walks nationwide, and in personal letters of support to individuals and families affected by autism”, said the group, Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks Chairman of the Board of Directors Brian Kelly and President and CEO Angela Geiger, said the contribution by Suzanne Wright to awareness of autism is immeasurable. Suzanne encouraged people all over the world to think about what can be done to make life of people with autism their best possible.

Suzanne Wright also served as board of directors for Make-A-Wish Metro New York; the Laura Pels Foundation; the Inner-City Foundation for Charity Education, and the Philadelphia-based Champions of Caring Project.