Nancy Herndon Cale, a well-known and beloved member of the autism community for the past two decades, died Aug. 11, 2017 of cancer. She was 73. Nancy was the co-founder and vice-president of Unlocking Autism (UA), and a Hotline call center counselor and conference outreach coordinator for Autism Research Institute (ARI). She worked for NVIC as a counselor between 2009 and 2010.
After co-founding Unlocking Autism (UA) in 1998 with Shelley Hendrix Reynolds, Nancy fielded many thousands of calls and emails from families in need in the U.S. and around the world. A mother of three and grandmother of four, she dedicated her life to helping other families whose children are struggling with disabilities in honor of her grandson, Wynn, who has autism.
Paying tribute on Facebook to her dear friend and colleague the day she died, Shelley Hendrix said, “Nancy lived an exemplary life of service in every possible way and did it right up until almost her last breath. She ran her race to win her crown and she crashed through that yellow ribbon and fell straight into Jesus’ arms this morning. I am sure she is already organizing things up in heaven, and making sure that every child that crosses over is hugged…and will be there to meet us when we come. She is more loved than she could ever imagine.”
The NVIC staff and volunteers remember and are grateful for Nancy’s strength and compassion during her many years of service helping others, including the years she worked at NVIC counseling families of children who were injured or died following vaccine reactions.
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