As the lead guitarist for the thrash-metal band Anthrax, Dan Spitz has played many sold-out shows over the course of his music career. Spitz was a member of the legendary band from 1983 to 1995, and then again from 2005-2007. However, his most important roles have come after his illustrious music career, as a husband, father and autism advocate.
Spitz’s twin sons were born in 2007 and both have since been diagnosed with autism. During that time, he has used his celebrity to help raise awareness about the disorder, particularly among those within the music community. Additionally, Spitz and his wife, Candi, are strong supporters of Autism Speaks and have recently been featured in one of the organization’s videos promoting its autism walks (posted below).
Dealing with autism hasn’t been the only challenge Spitz has faced in recent years. In 2009, he underwent open heart surgery to repair a main artery in his heart that was said to be "almost completely closed."
Spitz is a born-again Christian and Messianic Jew and in interviews, has frequently cited his faith as an influential component to his life.
It’s nice to see Dan Spitz be so transparent and come forward about his sons’ autism, among other things. Far too often, celebrities and public figures are all-too-reluctant to speak out about their child’s condition. Autism is an epidemic and there are many people who are sharing the same experiences and as such, there should be no shame in having a child with autism.
We need as many people as possible (celebrity and non-celebrity alike) to step out of the shadows and come forward. The more this occurs, the more we’ll realize just how much we have in common with others, which will help encourage and support all of us who are on our autism journeys.