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Autism Community Mourns Passing of Jo Pike

Joandtaylor From our friends at The National Autism Association . We send our condolences to the Pike family.

All of us at the National Autism Association are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-founder, Joanne Pike. Jo’s work in forming the first national autism organization willing to speak the truth about what happened to a generation of innocent children in this country has advanced our understanding of autism. Her refusal to accept that autism is a mysterious and unavoidable condition proved to be visionary.

Many of us met Jo for the first time in 2003, on a frigid January day in Washington, DC. Organized to protest the Homeland Security Act rider protecting Eli Lilly from liability for injuries caused by mercury-containing vaccines, it was the first of many rallies by parents fighting for the rights of their vaccine-injured children.  The major victory received when the Lilly rider was repealed was due in large part to Jo’s drive in bringing these parents together to speak as one. 

Jo often referred to these first rally participants as her “rag tag group of parents” but knew that for every person present at that first event in 2003, there were hundreds more they represented, and that there was strength in numbers.  This knowledge and Jo’s dedication to bringing parents together led to the formation of the National Autism Association and with that, real help became available to families affected by autism. 

Jo’s compassion for all in the autism community knew no bounds.  Her door was always open to help those trying to find answers for their loved ones affected by autism, and as countless parents and grandparents around the world know, Jo’s friendship was unwavering.

Our community has lost this faithful friend, but her spirit lives on through the work of NAA and through the thousands of parents she inspired to seek the very best for their vaccine-injured children.  For not only was Jo an advocate for other families, she was most of all a devoted mother to her own children who she loved so much.  To her children and to all of Jo’s family and friends, please know that Jo will live forever in our hearts. We will always do our best to see that Jo’s mission is carried out as she intended, working together with hope for the future of our children.

National Autism Association
Officers and Board Members


Ashley Ocampo Hudson

I first met Jo back in Chicago. She was a MOM on a MISSION for AUTISM. I became involved with her, Adrienne and Barb Roth, joining the board of MOMA. I was part of the team that worked at incorporating NAA, filing the paperwork here in Florida, although I had to drop out due to my own family needs.

Joe was a dynamo. She was a powerhouse. She will be truly truly truly missed.

Theresa O

spacekitty, more details are in Heather Fraser's *The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic* (pages 159-160). Representative Dick Armey put the Eli Lilly rider into the Homeland Security Act in 2002, and it was repealed in 2003 (as noted above), but a very similar rider was put into a different anti-terrorism bill by Senator Bill Frist in 2008.


I was Joannes best friend when we lived in England. Before she had Hunter, and was a Mom on a Mission to save her son, she was STILL an amazing person that I loved and admired! I will miss her! My heart goes out to her family, that I also love so much!

Lisa @ TACA

Jo taught me a lot. She befriended me at one of my first DAN conferences. NAA & TACA started in similar timeframes.

It is with such a heavy heart to know that she is gone. She fought so hard.

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with her family. May they know she was loved from many people in our community. I am so heartbroken.


"...she stayed up all night so she could print out photos of all the children that parents wanted represented at the DC rally..."

One of the first people I ever contacted on line about anything autism - thinking I was throwing out a message in a bottle - how could anyone dealing with autism possibly have the time to do all that work on behalf of our kids, and still have time to respond? She replied almost immediately. A few more short emails related to the issues of the day - the significance of these exchanges to me was that we mattered and we were not alone. I never met her or communicated with her again since then, but this news still feels like the kind of kick in the gut you get from losing a friend. RIP Jo Pike.



Thank you. After hearing Dr. Dean Edell belittle Dr. Wakefield and alternative medicine, I really needed some countering words to the dealer of doom.


Liz Burt, Jo Pike ... God is assembling Mother Warrior angels ... lookout Big Pharma!


My condolences to her family. She was a great person, she will be missed.

Will's a,.,.,

She directly and indirectly inspired me to action, and made me realize my power, individually and collectively. Jo really knew how to kick ass and take names. A true leader for us all.


Sorry to hear that.. Question.. Didn't they eventually pass another bill with the Eli Lilly rider in it again after that? Where can I read the history of this? I keep telling people what I know of the story, and no one ever believes that our government would try to do such a thing.


My condolences to Jo's family and many friends. She was one of the first autism parents I read about on the Internet. Because she spoke out, she helped halt further health damage to my son.

May many more autism parents fill the void left by Jo's passing.


Talk about a Warrior Mother! The epitomy of all good things we all strive to be for our children. My most sincere condolences go out to her family.

Amanda Blinn

We remember that rider; our son was 7 that year and we had put many puzzle pieces together since the Parents' magazine article in 2002 and had done 2 years of chelation. The rider was our first clue that it would be a long long time before the truth came out. God bless Jo for her work. God bless her family.


This is terribly sad. Why are some incredibly good people taken from the world too soon, while some bad people survive to a ripe old age? I am wondering how did she die, and how old are her children? Saying prayers for her family.

Charlie Hoover

An indefatigable fighter, Jo wasn't afraid of take on ANYONE when it came to the truth and our precious children. Rest in peace my friend.

Janet Presson R.N., M.Ed.

I first met Jo at the DC rally and then saw her at so many other events and conferences. She was always smiling and confident regardless what was going on. Jo was a wonderful example of what a difference one person can make. Jo, I am really going to miss you.


Anne McElroy Dachel

While I never personally met Jo Pike face-to-face, she's someone very special to me. Back in June 2004, after I'd spent a couple years reading about autism, contacting health officials, looking for answers, I started researching the link to vaccines. (And this was at a time when news stories still used the term "safe mercury" on a daily basis.) The more I learned, the more alarmed and angry I got. I found information from the NAA online. They were talking about vaccines and autism so I called their number. And Jo Pike answered the phone. She was my first contact in the autism community. I talked with her a number of times and she was a great source of information and inspiration for me at a time I felt very helpless.

"We're an army now" is my favorite quote from her.

Anne Dachel


What terribly sad news to awake to. I am so sorry for Jo, her family and our whole community. I'm at a loss for words. So sad. She was a hero.

Maurine Meleck

I first met Jo in SC when we both were working for UA. At that time she said she was going to start a new organization that hit the vaccine issue head on. I couldn't believe how quickly she organized NAA. I don't think I ever met anyone before with her strong will and stamina.
I remember staying at her house the night before we drove to DC on that cold January day in 2003. I fell asleep but she stayed up all night so she could print out photos of all the children that parents wanted represented at the DC rally--that were placed on the backs of chairs.
What a loss for her family and the whole autism community. My condolences to her family. She will be missed.



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