85001, Autism Research Institute
For more than a decade, family members seeking support for their loved ones with autism found it first in the warm, compassionate voice of Nancy Herndon Cale. As an advocate for the autism community for more than 20 years, Nancy was the perfect person to answer the Autism Research Institute’s hotline phone, often becoming a friend on the front line to callers who needed help. When her grandson was diagnosed with autism at age 3, she cofounded Unlocking Autism in his honor, working to bring awareness to the growing epidemic, partnering with state and local governments and eventually earning a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for her efforts. She was the voice of ARI’s helpline from 2007 until the day she was admitted to the hospital in August 2017.