The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is pleased to announce that we have selected several outstanding individuals to serve as Grand Marshals for the 2015 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walks in Boston, Sacramento, and Atlanta! The honor of Grand Marshal is bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant commitment to helping members of the OCD and related disorder community, whether that is through their work as a treatment provider or as an advocate.
Therapy dogs, Henry and Izzie, and their handler, Perrie Merlin, LICSW, will be the 2015 Grand Marshals! If you have attended the Boston Walk in the past, you may recall seeing Perrie and her two Australian Shepherd companions, Henry and Izzie. Perrie and her dogs have attended the Walk since its inception. Perrie is the senior social worker at the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital (OCDI). Perrie specializes in the treatment of OCD and BDD and the impact that it has on family systems. Henry and Izzie work as therapy dogs with Perrie at the OCDI.
Perrie was selected as Grand Marshal because of her steadfast commitment to the OCD Community, from her work at the OCDI, to her contributions as a support group leader in the community, to her role as a speaker at the Annual OCD Conference, and as a champion of the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston. Henry and Izzie were selected as Grand Marshals because of the comfort they bring to people struggling with OCD and related disorders and the help they provide to so many in the recovery process.
“I love everything about the Walk,” says Perrie. “The Walk could be a somber and solemn event, but it’s not! It is uplifting, happy, and full of hope! I’m honored to be a Grand Marshal.”
OCD Sacramento and the IOCDF selected Scott M. Granet, LCSW, as Grand Marshal! Scott has been treating OCD and related disorders for 20 years. In June 2008, Scott formed the OCD-BDD Clinic of Northern California. He has taught extensively throughout the country and presented internationally on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Scott is also one of the co-founders of the OCD San Francisco Bay Area affiliate and continues to serve as a member of their board of directors. Scott is being recognized for his commitment to helping people living with OCD and BDD and for making it his personal mission to educate others on these disorders.
“I truly feel honored to have been selected as Grand Marshal for this year’s 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Sacramento,” says Scott. “As someone who has lived with BDD his entire adult life, all I ever wanted was to get better. As a therapist, all I’ve ever wanted is to help others do the same. By participating in this Walk and Walks like it throughout the country, we can all have some part in making sure that millions of others with OCD and related disorders can also experience the joy and relief from reclaiming their lives.”
OCD Atlanta and the IOCDF selected Susan Dailey to serve as the Grand Marshal for the inaugural Walk in Atlanta! Susan is a longtime parental advocate for people living with OCD, especially kids with OCD. Her tireless effort to educate the medical community and others about PANDAS/PANS is making an impact on how the medical community views pediatric OCD. Susan is also a member of the IOCDF board of directors.
“I am honored to have been chosen as the Grand Marshal for the first 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Atlanta,” says Susan. “Visibility is a key factory in raising awareness and helping others better understand OCD. The Walk is an ideal way for that to happen.”
If you are in the Boston, Sacramento, or Atlanta areas on Saturday, June 6th, please come walk with Perrie, Henry, Izzie, Scott, and Susan, along with many other members of the OCD community. Everyone will be walking to raise awareness for OCD and related disorders, as well as raising funds to support the work of the IOCDF and our Sacramento and Atlanta affiliates. To learn more: www.crowdrise.com/iocdf
Please remember that if you can’t take part in the Boston, Sacramento, or Atlanta walks, you can always join us in your own community by setting up a fundraising page and pledging to walk for OCD anytime between now and June 6th (Anytime in the month of June works as well). This can be something you do on your own or with your family and friends. To become a virtual walker, go to: www.crowdrise.com/iocdf
Walk with us today! Join others around the globe and become part of #1Million4OCD.