Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks (center) with Anu Sharma, NASDAQ Market Intelligence Desk Managing Director (left) and Maribel O'Brien, Vice President, NASDAQ
Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks, presided over the NASDAQ closing bell on March 14, 2006. Below are Roithmayr's prepared remarks for the event.
My thanks to the NASDAQ for the opportunity to participate in today's closing ceremony. It is truly an honor. Autism Speaks was launched just over a year ago by Bob Wright, the chairman and CEO of NBC Universal, and his wife, Suzanne, after their 2 ½ year old grandson was diagnosed with autism. 1 in 166 children is now diagnosed with autism. That's up from 1 in 10,000 just 13 years ago, and no one knows what is fueling this epidemic. What we do know is that families are suffering and struggling and searching for answers. And we are committed to helping them. At Autism Speaks our goal is to increase awareness of the autism epidemic and raise funds to support autism research. In our first year we raised almost 40 million dollars. And we will not stop until we have raised enough money to fund the large scale scientific trials that have lead to cures in other diseases. We will also work tirelessly to educate the public about autism and to empower parents to take action if they think their child may have a developmental delay. Early detection and early intervention are our best weapons against autism.
And so again I thank the NASDAQ for the opportunity to share our important message with the NASDAQ constituency.