Walk with members of the OCD community across the nation this June and October at a One Million Steps for OCD Walk – including the flagship event in Boston, MA on Saturday, June 11.
Find a walk happening near you and register today!
Join the International OCD Foundation and its official Affiliates in June and October for the One Million Steps for OCD Walk, as we join together to challenge stigma, raise funds, and create awareness about what it really means to have obsessive compulsive disorder. Last week, the Donnelly Family (Kitty’s Sunflower’s) shared a touching story about participating at the Walk over the years in honor of Kathleen Donnelly, who was a beloved mother, wife, and member of the OCD community. This week, Amy Wieczorek shares her excitement about attending the OCD Walk in Los Angeles as a first time attendee with her daughter, Annie:
How did you first learn about the One Million Steps for OCD Walk?
My daughter Annie (13) was doing a school research project to better understand OCD and it was through her research (along with one of the many books both of us were reading at the time for this project) that we heard about the International OCD Foundation. Instantly, the One Million Steps for OCD Walk caught my eye. A very important part of Annie’s project was to do an act of service related to the topic. I was touched by Denis Asselin’s story as the inspiration for starting the OCD Walk. Sharing with our local community that the Los Angeles OCD Walk was happening on June 4th, and urging them to come together and dial up our compassion and understanding for the challenge of OCD, seemed like the perfect opportunity for an act of service close to our families’ heart.
We saw that this will be your first year walking with us-what are you most excited about?
Anytime the masses come together to create an exponential impact is an exciting experience. Partaking in the sense of community, support, and good intentions that such an event brings is something we’re looking forward to. I am most excited for the potency, joy, and positivity of it all – knowing, of course, that joyous feeling is juxtaposed with the mighty need that is there.
I’ve learned that the more we come together, the less challenging things can be for those in the OCD community. Unfortunately, there is still such stigma, shame, and isolation that follows mental health. The most heartening message I learned in my daughter’s research (as well as my own) is the relief in getting help, knowing there’s help, and mitigating the challenges of life with OCD.
What does participating in the LA OCD Walk mean to you and your family?
I am truly looking forward to being part of an event that raises awareness and unifies us for the greater good.
The reward is in the doing. It is an honor to learn of an opportunity, to be of service, and to support the OCD community from a place of empathy and understanding that one’s version of challenge may be different from another’s. We are unified in that way. The more we can be on the same level with joined hands – figuratively or literally – I think it is a beautiful way to spend the day. Through this exploration, my family and I have learned about the overuse and simplification of OCD in society, and the need for spreading awareness and bringing sensitivity to that experience. I now have greater compassion for what OCD really is and the suffering that can come with it.
What do you hope that others in your community will take away in participating in your local OCD Walk?
Inclusion. I can see that a day designed like this one opens our hearts, raises awareness, and helps us to do so in an inclusive way. The OCD Walk helps others to feel like they belong to a community that understands them and fully supports them.