Age of Autism Awards 2008 Couple of the Year: Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey
By Kim Stagliano
It's my great pleasure to honor Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey as our Age of Autism 2008 Couple of the Year.
Jenny was smart enough to disbelieve the doctors who told her that Evan's lot in life was cast when he was diagnosed with autism. She roared into action, saying what so many of us have said over the years, "F you, I'm taking care of my son. Get out of my way." (I figure in a post about Jenny I can kind of drop the F bomb.) Then she got busy recovering him. But she didn't stop there. She started a crusade to educate parents, doctors, teachers everywhere that autism is treatable. That kids are making great progress and even recovering.
Somehow she found the time to write two amazing, best selling books to empower other parents; Louder Than Words and Mother Warriors, produce a line of DVD's called Teach2Talk, speak at several autism events and appear on national television and in the press.
Meanwhile, Jim Carrey was busy starring in Horton Hears a Who and his new movie Yes Man. (Have you seen it yet? Go already. You deserve a break.)
Then there was the GREEN OUR VACCINES RALLY in Washington, DC last June. Coordinated and organized to perfection by our dedicated sponsor TACA, the rally energized our community, gave us hope, empowered us with two internationally known voices (well, in Jim's case, there are a lot more voices!) and showed the world that we are not willing to back down from asking the hard questions about vaccine safety and its relation to our children's autism. Who can forget Jim's words, "Do they think we're stupid?"
We needed a face and a loud voice to represent our fight for our children. Boy, did we hit the jackpot with Jenny and Jim. Plus we got to know sweet Evan, with his mischievous smile. Jenny and Jim continue their work by supporting TACA and representing Generation Rescue. Please consider making a donation to either organization (both, if Santa was good to you) to help people with autism.
Thank you, Jenny and Jim.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Thanks to Christine Heeren of Lighthouse Studios for the video.
My name is Cindy. I have 5 year old twin boys with autism. My husband and I struggle every day fighting too help our boys, taking them to speech and OT appointments. We also have 3 other children who fight for our attention. We are looking for advice from Jenny and Jim, my husband is the boys step father as well, to help us, teach us new suggestions. My kids are my life, I stay home every day, every daycare runs when I speak of autism like they can catch it. I just want to make sure Jason and Clayton have a fulfilled life.
Posted by: Cindy Saltzman | April 05, 2009 at 12:07 AM
Phyllis said "I thank you for being a voice, not only for Americans, but also for Canadians as well."
I do believe Jim was born way up here in the Great White North. So he might have his roots here. But you're right - he speaks up for kids everywhere.
Actually I only mention this bit of trivia because who else but a crazy Canuck could do this:
They say laughter is the best medicine - it certainly is for a tired old autism Dad (OK, watching a "hot babe" score a TKO on the top guy at the AAP on live TV was not too shabby either ;-). Thanks Jim and Jenny for lifting my spirits a bit these past years.
Posted by: Randy | December 30, 2008 at 02:04 PM
Yes! Congratulations Jenny and Jim!
Jenny: First and foremost, thank you for the Green Our Vaccines Rally in DC this past summer, my husband and I will never forget the feeling of walking hand in hand with our vaccine damaged son down Independence Avenue. The overwhelming emotion from seeing so many thousands and thousands of families and children coming together... <> yeah, it was quite a day.
Second, thank you for writing Louder Than Words and Mother Warriors. Each of those books pulled me (and many I know) through some very dark times.
And lastly, thank you for being real and "in your face." The task you've taken on is not an easy one, to be sure; but you've brought to our world energy, laughter, and ... wait for it... HOPE!
Jim: Thank you for "How stupid do you think we are?!?" - That was a doozy and will not soon be forgotten! Thank you for your willingness to stand beside Jenny and take Evan under your wing, it speaks volumes of your character. And thank you for being so funny. I know you know how badly we all need a good laugh!
Posted by: Jeanne | December 30, 2008 at 01:34 PM
Jenny and Jim ~ THANK YOU!! What you have done for our cause and children as well as all the families is absolutely priceless and irreplacable! Becasue of you, parents, children, and our community is gaining by leaps and bounds!! We are forever indebted and grateful, beyond words.
Kim ~ above and beyond. What an excellent piece and perfectly spoken nomination! Many thanks to as well!!!
Posted by: Lin | December 30, 2008 at 01:33 PM
I want to thank Jenny and Jim for everything that they have done to help our children. I have twin 4 year old boys who are currently recovering from autism, thanks to biomedical treatment. We are seeing an amazing DAN doctor in Markham, Ontario, who needs to be cloned, because there is not enough of him to go around.
I thank you for being a voice, not only for Americans, but also for Canadians as well.
Posted by: Phyllis | December 30, 2008 at 10:12 AM
Thankyou to Kathy Blanco and all others who speak out. Finally it seems to be coming together and having an effect. About vaccines, I would like to express an idea- It appears that when vaccines are mandated, the unintended consequence is that it becomes very difficult to change and improve the vaccine schedule . After all, if there is a mandate, then there is an assumption that the schedule is perfect and making a change would be an admission that it is not perfect. Therefore, the only change can be addition of new vaccines. Im really looking at the psychological aspect of the schedule. So I guess what Im saying is that mandates work against scientific truth. Kathy, please dont think that I am implying here that you are wrong about no vaccines for kids. If there is anything we have learned from this whole sordid lunatic autism morass, its that we must all keep our minds open unlike some of the "scientists" .
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | December 30, 2008 at 10:12 AM
Wow, more phenomenal people to celebrate and thank! Jenny & Jim, you have done so much this year -- the march on Washington, outstanding speeches, TV appearances, the wonderful book Mother Warriors, and more. Thank you for your courage, energy, hard work, and love for our children.
Posted by: Twyla | December 30, 2008 at 05:53 AM
Thank you so very much, Jenny and Jim, for all you've done to help our children and their families -- with such strength and humor. I finally got "Mother Warriors" from the library, and the book is riveting.
Strange how at first vaccine injury denialists tried to dismiss the claims of autism parents by treating them as lumpenproletariat. Then came Jenny, and the VIDs tried a new pejorative. Trouble was, with Jenny came Jim -- and doctors. And researchers. And reporters finally started to take notice.
It's only a matter of time before more and more honest medical professionals learn about the environmental triggers contained in so-called "lifesaving interventions." Shame on all the busy generalist bureaucrats who are sticking to their same old toxic CDC vaccine script, allowing yet more children to be injured.
Posted by: nhokkanen | December 30, 2008 at 12:02 AM
Very glad to see this! Thank you Jenny, for your passion and determination! Having you and Jim in this fight with us has added some much needed hope and strength.
You are gifted celebrities but also very
wonderful and benevolent people -- my admiration to you both.
Posted by: Teresa | December 29, 2008 at 09:29 PM
Jenny has been an AMAZING spokesperson for all of us in the biomed. autism community. She has an exquisite sense of her audience and how to best get the message across that autism is treatable and that vaccines can and do trigger it. It is staggering to think about how many children have been saved by her.
Many people who have read Matthew's story(posted at AoA under "Flu shot nightmare..." have told me I should write a book. I often say, "I don't have to--Jenny McCarthy already did". Our stories are very similar and our sons are almost exactly the same age. The (major) exception is that Matthew did not have seizures (thank God, it was stressful enough as it was).
Thank you so much Jenny! And Jim, my husband and I love your movies and what a wonderful and major contribution you have made to Evan and to our fight as well.
Posted by: Rachel Ford | December 29, 2008 at 08:39 PM
I stood for 2 cold hours outside the hotel in London Jim swhere Jim was staying with my TACA hat on. Just to say thanks and "we are here". Jim and Jenny thanks for all your hard work.
Posted by: Mark | December 29, 2008 at 08:26 PM
Our only framed family picture is of Jenny and Jim and our crew at the rally. In the picture, their smiles are so bright and everytime we take the picture off the shelf and look at it, it brings back wonderful memories. They were so genuine. Thank you for all that you do.
Posted by: Holly M. | December 29, 2008 at 08:26 PM
In almost every interview Jenny says, " I promised God that if he would show me how to heal Evan, I would tell the world." Jenny, there has to be a special place in heaven for you because you have certainly lived up to that covenant and you have been a huge inspiration to me. My faith has flourished through my daughter’s recovery and through the testimony you share. Thank you for all you do and thank you for giving the glory to God.
And Jim, thank you for being such an impressive example. You are a real "man".
Posted by: Pamela Felice | December 29, 2008 at 08:26 PM
The number one reason I support Jenny is that every time she is on TV, or in print, my phone rings with parents desperate for answers, my Emails stack up from Generation Rescue.
I don't think in her lifetime she will realize all the kids saved from her efforts.
All the families who will once again have peace because of a diet and vitamins.
She and Jim Carrey will always have a cherished place in my heart because they could have recovered Evan and moved on with their respective careers.
But instead they moved us all to fight for vaccine safety and help for kids injured by a runaway unchecked system.
All stardom aside the honor is fitting.
Thank you Jenny and Jim... from the kids who can't say it themselves.
Posted by: karenatlanta | December 29, 2008 at 02:34 PM
Though I diverge on the opinion that you can make any vaccine safe, or any schedule safe, I do appreciate Jenny's advocacy, and I appreciate the shoes we all have walked in, that we saw our children robbed of their futures.
I am considered a pioneer mom, my oldest autistic son is now 27 (two NT daughters inbetween), and then my daughter HF Autism at 21. I wish I had all the information you new moms have now. Do you know how lucky you truly are? This doesn't mean I haven't seen progress, but let's face it, attacking autism at this age is one tough job.
That is why I considered it almost my right to tell my NT daughters who are mothers now, do not vaccinate. I told them to get their thyroids checked, check for infections and treat, and get their immune systems up to par. No Autism, thank God. Knock on wood, where is wood? Autism is not genetic, it is inheritable by trusting.
I just hope the next book Jenny will write is how to prevent autism. That, when we have all this information/studies, at this point, every mother will know her options, and choose if she wants a life of autism, or not. No one chooses it, but if we can avoid the triggers or the known perterbers, we should voice it, we should do it. Such has been my lott with always taking a pregnant mother aside and telling her the honest real truths instead of the media clips or the pediatric giant lies.
I suppose, that is why Jenny did what she did, because after a while, you almost feel an obligation to say something. I have a GP right across from a Pediatric office we went to back then. Sometimes I just want to run in there and grab that one year old and say, mom, come here, let me tell you what happened to me...but we can only do what we can do...without being nutty and zeloutrous.
One day in a shopping line, I think I finally had it with the stares...and so outloud, I said it...my son is the result of vaccinating him to hell and back...and then another mom chimed in and said, you know, my Dad was a chiropractor, and we never were vaccinated...she went on and on how this is just travesty going on (she was getting very vocal, it was great)...it was...I don't know...fulfilling. That is the way we moms have to be...vocal. And so, I appreciate what VOCAL things Jenny has done. I am sure if given subsequent children, she would never vaccinate again, regardless of a green vaccine, but that is just one sticking point I have...
The point is, I won't stop saying what happened to my children. I won't stop saying what could cause autism, and I won't stop doing what I am doing, until I feel the world has listened to the silence of my children.
They say, that you can't fight the big boys...but maybe Jenny has done it...by virtue of her celebrity status. I don't have that...but I have the day to day example of what I go through. My neighbors see it, they see the stickers on my bumper about autism, and they see that through some osmosis, that they must question, why is that child the way he is? My church family hears autism. They love my kids, thank God. But, I know it makes them wonder...why Kathy? Why did it have to happen to this family? And yes, I am vocal there too. I even held a women's night on the whole topic, or add something as eternal perspective in our scripture studies. I can't stop. I won't stop, until I know, the world knows the cause of autism. Prevents it. Stops it.
Posted by: Kathy Blanco | December 29, 2008 at 02:34 PM
Yes, we just had another blast about celebs in The Times (London) this weekend, David Rose, 'Don’t take health tips from celebs if you know what’s good for you':
I think a lot of poster saw through it. I posted:
"It may also not be such a great idea to take your health tips from pharmaceutical industry lobby organisations."
It has been part of pharma lobby programme in the UK to trash ordinary people, and I imagine it is not so different in the US. Jenny & Jim deserve the greatest credit: it would have been so much easier for them not to have stuck their necks out.
It is odd, when I grew up there used to be a lot in popular culture about standing up against bullies. Now everyone is supposed to lie down in front of them. Well, not Jenny and Jim!
Posted by: John Stone | December 29, 2008 at 01:48 PM
bombs away! (Bettcha thought it was "Fat Albert" for a second ;-)
No one does "bomb" better than Jenny -- bombshell, f-bomb, lobbing bombs (she takes after JB) -- yup; she's got the whole "bomb thingy" down pat!
As for Jim, all I can say is I laughed my a** (I can drop one too you know) off during his wind-flapping, a** (there it is again) baring motorcycle scene.
[Side note: Seems he's awfully fond of scotch tape -- I know guys have a thing for duct tape, but scotch tape???]
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis -- Hey, Hey, Hey.... | December 29, 2008 at 01:48 PM
Jenny McCarthy has taken the brunt of criticism for being a celebrity spokesperson, but in dismissing her those critics are also dismissing the very idea that parents of injured children make credible advocates. And for taking comfort in that dismissal, I have no doubt there will continue to be jaw dropping hell to pay in the form of articulately presented facts by Jenny and other parents when least expected.
(I've noticed the attack campaign on celebrities has not changed the use of actors in pharma ads.)
Thanks Jenny and Jim for elevating this debate with passion, urgency, honesty, and a needed dose of humor.
Posted by: Ben's Dad | December 29, 2008 at 11:29 AM
Awesome choice!!! They changed my life this year.
Posted by: michele i | December 29, 2008 at 09:28 AM
I can't think of anyone better to represent the warrior mom mojo in autism than Jenny McCarthy. She's smart, tough, down to earth, determined and dedicated (and it doesn't hurt that she's pretty hot too). It's like they tried to cast a movie about autism but then they didn't have to because she's real. Thanks Jenny for everything you do.
BTW, Elise and I just went to see "Yes, Man" last night. We've always been big Jim Carrey fans and he was in top form here. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Highly recommended.
Posted by: Mark Blaxill | December 29, 2008 at 09:10 AM
Some huge things are happening with Causecast this January. 100% of peoples donations to Generation Rescue go to Generation Rescue through them. It costs nothing to join but gives everything to the world to show we are united to fight for our families dealing with Autism. Please support Jenny McCarthy
We are just about through beta testing. I have gotten amazing feedback from people. I always direct them back to Generation Rescue, Age of Autism and give the credit to Jenny.
Posted by: Tanners Dad | December 29, 2008 at 08:34 AM