The 2nd Annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston is a month away! The International OCD Foundation is proud to have 6-year old Cameron Lucas-Pelletier as one of our Grand Marshals. Last year, Cameron, his mother Jiliane, and his grandmother Jeanette all attended the walk. They formed a Walk Team and together they raised funds and raised awareness amongst their family and friends — then they came to Boston to walk with other members of the OCD community. You can read more about Cameron in this article from the Spring 2014 issue of the OCD Newsletter.
The IOCDF has selected Cameron to be a Grand Marshal because of his courage in facing his fears and for setting an example at such a young age for how anyone can get involved in the Walk and support the IOCDF and raise awareness. Cameron’s mom Jiliane wanted to provide you with an update on his progress and let you know just how excited he is to be our 2014 Walk Grand Marshal, alongside co-Grand Marshal Dr. Michael Jenike.
A Mother’s Perspective
by Jiliane Lucas
We have new words for OCD in our house:
One of a kind
My son, Cameron has been battling his OCD for about a year along with the generalized anxiety that preceded his OCD diagnosis. He is incredibly excited to have been asked to be a Grand Marshall for the 2014 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk.
Cameron’s has been an unfair journey for any 6-year old to have to deal with. Why? Cameron has always had to know “Why?” or “What if, Mommy?” Watching my little 4-year old child have to deal with his obsessions and fears was like a sucker punch in the heart to me as a parent. Cameron was victim to a number of extremely vivid fears — fears that he believed were real in his mind. As his mother, I found it so difficult to help my son with his fears. It seemed so much easier to deal with his compulsions, which seemed more real to me, than to deal with the fears that were only truly known to him and lived in his mind.
Cameron has been in treatment for his OCD for 2 years — we are fortunate to have found a treatment provider that is able to help someone so young and to also help our family.
If Cameron he needs to know who, what, where, when, why and how, then we talk about it until he feels comfortable. When he was petrified of scissors because he was scared that he was going to harm himself on purpose we made it a point to do a lot of fun arts and crafts projects that require the use of scissors. They call this ERP, or Exposure Response Therapy — I call it a “warm blanket.” At first you think “Oh, that’s too much!” But then, your body tingles, you begin to acclimate, and your body disarms. Through ERP, Cameron felt alive again, he was able to be his quirky self and to joke around. He was comfortable with himself.
Cameron is about to complete this school year with two amazing report cards! And, to my delight, parent–teacher conferences no longer go an hour over the allotted time anymore, and we actually get to talk about school, instead of Cameron’s OCD.
Now, my son can do something that many of us take for granted — fall asleep at night like any 6-year-old should be able to, without fear that a fire or a earthquake will destroy the house while he’s sleeping.
As a mom, I would like to invite you to join Cameron on this journey and Walk with the OCD community on June 7th in Boston. If you can’t be in Boston, I would like to ask you to walk in your own community. Awareness and visibility are two important ways in which we will shatter the stereotypes of OCD and help kids like Cameron live a full and productive life.
If you live in the New England area, I hope that you will consider coming to Boston on June 7th to meet Cameron and his Mom, Jillian, and help us celebrate his joy as together we walk to raise awareness for OCD and related disorders and funds to help support important IOCDF programs and services. If you would like more information about the Boston Walk, click here: www.iocdf.org/walkboston.
If you do not live in New England or have other plans on June 7th, but still want to walk in support of the OCD Awareness click here: www.iocdf.org/virtualwalk
Take a step, and be part of #1Million4OCD.