Six-year-old with OCD to Grand Marshal Walk in Honor of Families Who Face Disorder
BOSTON, May 27, 2014 — For the millions of people in the U.S. living with obsessive compulsive disorder, “being so OCD” isn’t a joke, it’s reality. The International OCD Foundation is working to increase awareness, resources, and support for individuals and families affected by OCD with the 2nd Annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston on June 7, 2014.
OCD typically starts in early adolescence and young adults, but it can occur in people of any age, including young children. At a time when childhood should be about joy and action, OCD can prey on a child’s worst fears and anxieties.
“Most people have no idea that OCD starts in childhood, even as young as 4 or 5 years old,” explains Dr. Jeff Szymanski, IOCDF Executive Director. “It is estimated that more than half a million children are suffering with OCD in the United States alone. Without early and effective treatment, OCD can have a devastating affect on these young lives.”
While OCD cannot be cured, it can be managed. No one knows this better than Cameron Lucas-Pelletier, who has been named the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Walk. Cameron is 6 years old, and from the outside, looks like any other carefree kid. But Cameron’s battle with OCD began when he was just a toddler, still learning how to communicate and navigate the world. Cameron’s intrusive thoughts, irrational fears and general anxiety began to consume his life. Luckily for Cameron, his OCD was recognized early on, and he has been tackling the disorder ever since. Today, Cameron is proof that OCD doesn’t have to mean the end of a happy childhood.
Renowned OCD expert and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Michael Jenike, will also be honored as a co-Grand Marshal for his career-long dedication to helping those with OCD.
Individuals with OCD and related disorders, their family members and friends, and mental health professionals and advocates, are all invited to join the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD walk at Jamaica Pond in Boston, on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.
The 2014 walk is made possible due to the generosity of corporate sponsors Brooks Running, Rhode Island Hospital, McLean Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as by the grassroots support of individuals in the OCD community.
About the Walk
The 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk was first started in 2013, inspired by OCD advocate Denis Asselin, who walked one million steps in the spring of 2012, on a memorial pilgrimage from Philadelphia to Boston after the loss of his own, Nathaniel, to OCD and BDD (body dysmorphic disorder, a related OC-disorder).
The IOCDF created this walk in memory of Nathaniel, and in honor of all families who face this disorder on a daily basis, in order to increase awareness about OCD and related disorders and the increase access to effective treatment for all.
This year, the IOCDF is proud to host two walks: one in Boston on June 7th, and one in Sacramento, California, on May 10th, 2014. To learn more, visit: https://iocdf.org/walk
About the International OCD Foundation
The mission of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them.
Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 22 states and territories, as well as 9 Global Partners. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986. Now in its 27th year, the organization has an over $1.5 million annual operating budget, has granted millions of dollars for OCD research, and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit https://iocdf.org.
International OCD Foundation, Director of Communications