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The honor of being a grand marshal of a 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant commitment to helping members of the OCD and related disorder community, whether that be through their dedicated work as a treatment provider or as an advocate working to raise awareness. The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is pleased to announce that we have several remarkable individuals who have been selected as grand marshals for the 2017 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walks in Boston, Atlanta, and NorCal! We’ve asked each of the grand marshals to share their story of how they became involved in the walk and what it means to them:

In Boston:

The IOCDF is pleased to announce that the 2017 Walk Grand Marshal is The Winston Family! Jo-Ann Winston is an IOCDF Board Member who has been deeply involved in planning and helping to grow the Boston Walk over the past 3 years.A06W1878

“My families’ story is like so many families struggling with OCD. We were lost, confused, uneducated, and alone. When I found the IOCDF, I found families that shared my story. I found parents who shared the same frustrations and had the same questions. I found children who had the same controlling voice in their heads that my daughter had. I found professionals who had the research and compassion to help. With all of this, I found a community that my family and I could lean on. Finding this community made me want to be involved even more.”

Jo-Ann and her family’s involvement with the International OCD Foundation started 3 years ago when she read Denis Asselin’s story about his son Nathaniel, the inspiration for the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk. She read about the Boston Walk taking place at Jamaica Pond, created a Walk Team, and began raising money for the IOCDF. After being part of the Walk and meeting members of the community as well as the IOCDF staff, she started volunteering at the IOCDF office in downtown Boston once a week.

“Being in the downtown Boston office, learning about the IOCDF day-to-day activities, and seeing the hard work of the staff members all inspired me to want to work just as hard to spread awareness about OCD and the IOCDF to the general public. This hard work over the past 3 years led to an invitation to become an IOCDF Board Member, where I can help influence the organization’s direction and help inform others that they are not alone. I look forward to continuing to nurture the diverse, open, growing community at IOCDF and encouraging others involvement.” – Jo-Ann Winston

Come and join Jo-Ann, the entire Winston Family, and the many other New England walkers at Jamaica Pond on June 3, 2017 as together we take 1 million steps for OCD awareness.

To learn more and register, visit www.iocdf.org/walkBoston.

In NorCal:

The IOCDF and its two Northern California affiliates, OCD Sacramento and OCD SF Bay Area are honored to announce Clint Malarchuk as the grand marshal for the Nor Cal 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk. Clint played in the NHL between 1981 and 1992 for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals, and Buffalo Sabres, and in the IHL for the Las Vegas Thunder. When his throat was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with depression, OCD, and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life and left a bullet in his head.

Clint-Malarchuk-cropped-e1446488379979Today, Clint is a Mental Health Advocate and speaks professionally around the country on mental health including his struggles with PTSD, depression, and OCD. Clint’s memoir, A Matter of Inches in U.S./ The Crazy Game in Canada: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond, was published in 2014 and the IOCDF was honored to have Clint and his wife Joanie as the Keynote Speakers at the 22nd Annual OCD Conference in Boston in 2015.

“It is a great honor to be a part of the NorCal 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk. I have suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder since childhood but today I am in a pretty good place thanks to therapy, counseling, and medication. That being said, I do know that there are those that are still struggling and its events like the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk bring hope, help, and awareness for us to live a normal life. I am looking forward to having fun day at the Sacramento State Capitol and meeting fellow sufferers and sharing experiences as well as supporters for our great cause. See Ya’ll there.” – Clint Malarchuck

We would like to invite those of you in Northern California to join Clint at the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk at the California State Capital building in Sacramento on June 10th, 2017.

To learn more and register, visit www.iocdf.org/walkNorCal.

In Atlanta:

Shannon Shy, President of the IOCDF Board of Directors, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Altanta on June 3, 2017! Shannon has written two books about his battle with OCD, writes a daily Facebook/Twitter blog providing insight and motivation to those who suffer, and has served on the IOCDF Board of Directors since 2011.

“I couldn’t be more excited, honored, humbled or proud to serve as this year’s grand marshal for the Atlanta 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk! Words really cannot describe adequately how the Walk in Atlanta — and the Walks across the nation — rIOCDF BOSTON 2015 DAY 3_0522aise awareness about OCD and related disorders and reduce stigma. My gratitude and thanks go to the IOCDF staff, to OCD Georgia, and the other affiliates holding walks and to all of the people who show up physically or virtually. I’m especially moved thinking back to the Walk’s origin, Denis Asselin’s “Walking with Nathaniel” campaign wherein he trekked hundreds of miles across several states to raise awareness and to honor his late son, Nathaniel, who battled body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). So, in the name of all those sufferers and family members who are affected by this debilitating disorder we know as OCD, and to the wonderful professionals who treat them, let’s show up and WALK!”- Shannon Shy

We would like to invite those of you in Georgia to join Shannon at the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Atlanta on June 3rd, 2017 at Chastain Park.

To learn more and register, visit www.iocdf.org/walkAtlanta.

In Houston:

Thröstur Björgvinsson, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Houston on June 3, 2017!

Thröstur Björgvinsson, Ph.D., ABPP, is the founder and director of the OCD & Anxiety Program of Houston, a specialized residential treatment center for OCD and anxiety, and a co-founder and co-director of the OCD & Anxiety Program of Los Angeles. He is also an associate professor of psychology at the department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; the director of the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program at McLean Hospital, and co-director of psychology training at McLean Hospital / Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Björgvinsson has a national and international reputation as a clinical innovator, particularly in the implementation of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for the treatment of severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. He has published over 70 scholarly articles and given over 300 presentations and workshops, nationally and internationally, on evidence-based treatments for OCD, anxiety disorders and depression.

“It is tremendous honor and a pleasure to be able to serve as this year’s Grand Marshall for the #1Million4OCD Walk in Houston, co-hosted by OCD Texas. This grassroots effort to deconstruct stigma and educate people about OCD and related disorders started five years ago with Denis Asselin’s five hundred mile walk in memory of his son Nathaniel. His efforts have now turned into a country wide educational effort to reach out to others and educate people about OCD. I have been working with and treating individuals with OCD for over 20 years and I am always enthusiastic to be a part of the great work the IOCDF is doing for the OCD community. It is a challenging and rewarding experience to be a part of such an amazing organization that is working so hard to fight the stigma associated with mental illness and OCD in particular. It is humbling and encouraging to be a part of the important work that OCD sufferers and their families go through in claiming their lives as they overcome and address such a debilitating disorder.” – Thröstur Björgvinsson

The IOCDF and its local affiliate, OCD Texas, are both thrilled to be participating in the Walk for the second year and members of the OCD and related disorders community are invited to join them this year at Stude Park on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in downtown Houston.

To learn more and register for the Walk in Houston, visit www.iocdf.org/walkHouston.

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