Last year, we introduced the IOCDF Hero Award as a way of honoring members of the OCD community who go above and beyond in their service to the OCD community. For the first award in 2012, we recognized Denis Asselin for his tireless advocacy on behalf of individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and OCD, in memory of his son Nathaniel.
This year, we had so many amazing people nominated for the Hero Award, but one nomination stood out above the rest. For her enthusiasm, dedication, and unwavering support of the OCD community and the IOCDF, we are pleased to award the 2013 Hero Award to Margaret Sisson. Margaret will be honored at the Saturday Night Social of the 2014 Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles, along with the 2013 OCD Awareness Week Creative Expression Award Winners.
Margaret Sisson, a mother of two sons living with OCD, is a tireless advocate for people living with OCD and related disorders. In one short year, she has made a tremendous impact on the IOCDF community.
After reading Jeff Bell’s WHEN IN DOUBT, MAKE BELIEF and attending the 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago, Margaret felt inspired by a sense of purpose and service and decided to get involved. She joined the Southeast Task Force for the 2013 Annual Conference in Atlanta and became a passionate and active member, forming connections with the local OCD community and marketing the conference to patients, supporters, and professionals. In addition to this, she sponsored the DJ for the Saturday evening social.
Margaret has also participated in grassroots fundraising for the IOCDF. Realizing that most of her friends were leading busy lives and might not have the time to attend a fundraiser, Margaret came up with a fun and effective way to raise money: a “Wine Raffle.” Margaret sent a letter to her friends asking them to donate a $15 or $20 bottle of their favorite wine and deliver it to her home. Her goal was to collect 24 bottles of good wine that she could then auction via a raffle. Margaret sold raffle tickets to her friends, family and colleagues. Once Margaret had collected two cases of wine, she drew two winning tickets! Two lucky winners received a case of wine each just before the holidays. They could enjoy it themselves or give it as gifts. Margaret ended up raising $500 for the IOCDF!
Margaret is especially passionate about pediatric OCD and has worked with IOCDF staff to develop opportunities to reach out to pediatricians. For example, she arranged for IOCDF staff to attend a presentation by Madeleine Cunningham, recipient of the Harris Riley Speaker Award for 2013, at the University of Oklahoma. This award was created in honor of Margaret’s father, who at one time was the Chairman of Pediatrics at University of Oklahoma. The IOCDF will launch the pediatrician outreach efforts during this event. Margaret takes any opportunity she can to make sure that OCD, and especially pediatric OCD, is at the forefront of people’s minds, and to involve the IOCDF in every effort she makes to promote OCD awareness and education.
Congratulations Margaret for being the 2013 IOCDF Hero!