Suzanne Wright addresses a packed crowd at the Nantucket Walk Kickoff

Thank you Kate. Kate has been a great friend of ours for many years. What a wonderful woman she is. Fighting to keep America – thinking- and on its toes.

Just two years ago Bob was a part of the inaugural Nantucket Project entitled “Rethink.” Last year it was “Collective Intelligence.” Both are what we do every day at Autism Speaks. We use the collective intelligence of the best and brightest to make American think and rethink – what it knows about the most urgent childhood development disorder in the world: autism

At the Nantucket Project – the greatest thinkers are always examining the details without losing the big picture…the forest and the trees at the same time…

We have no choice but to see both too -- at Autism Speaks. The forest – is made up of so many beautiful trees. You know autism knows no boundaries. Those little trees have blue eyes, brown, green, hazel. Their hair ranges from platinum blonde to black…straight to frizzy and curly. No boundaries. 

The three million-plus American children, teens and adults go to your movie theaters and ice cream shops. They are playing on every beach in America this summer. They live next door. My very special tree as Kate mentioned is named “Christian.”

I was so excited to be a grandma for the first time. Who doesn’t love a baby, right? So soft and cuddly…and when it’s your daughter’s – you get to give him back to her when he needs a new diaper!
What I could never have dreamed as Christian came into this world was how significant his name would be…
How he would change our world in a blink…
How he would give our already fruitful, busy lives a whole new meaning… how when we began to fight for him we saw kindness and goodness rise out of the ashes of heartbreak for so many families like ours…

Christian – I’d say is the most powerful, silent figure to walk amongst us. He changed Bob and me forever. He’s opened hearts and minds without ever uttering more than a few words.

We all still dream of hearing his true speaking voice. But I already hear it in my heart, and it keeps me going on those tired days and long flights. It is what has driven us to bring autism into the national and global conversation – where it deserves to be and needs to remain -- until we have answers… until we have a national plan.

If we could hear all the voices of the autism community around the world I am convinced they’d be an angelic chorus. For now- like a Monet painting… we can see them. On April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, those voices – backed by lots of Autism Speaks Volunteers --WE lit the world BLUE.
Please take a look at what we were able to accomplish this year. This is the forest.

What a powerful message…blue from coast to coast, continent to continent! But, we are not done! Remember- Christian is right here. (gesture-heart)

Please light your beautiful Nantucket homes and businesses BLUE the week of August 12th. Our Walk is on Saturday, August 17th!! Christian and I look forward to seeing you on Jetties Beach!

Thank you for choosing autism. Together we can be the voice of these beautiful people.

Now- here’s my husband and partner of 46-years next month… our “grandfather with a cause”—Bob.