Virtual fundraiser remembers Olivia Marchand, helps curb domestic abuse

WESTFORD — It’s been more than 10 years since 17-year-old Olivia Marchand was shot to death by her father, Brian Marchand, inside their Westford home.

The murder was carried out in front Olivia’s mother, Jody Marchand. She recently detailed the night of her daughter’s death despite the painful feelings it brings her a decade later.

It’s a story she has to tell to force the realities of domestic violence out of the shadows.

Jody married Brian when he was 28 and she was 19. Throughout their marriage, Brian was emotionally abusive, she said.

“It was years and years of abuse,” Marchand said. “Power and control, is what it boils down to.”

With their daughter getting older and her time away at college around the corner, Marchand decided it was time to escape her toxic marriage.

With plans to divorce her husband known, she believes Brian felt he was losing control. He snapped the night of Feb. 1, 2010, when he used a 9 mm pistol to shoot Olivia. He then shot Jody, before turning the gun on himself.

Jody Marchand survived a bullet that pierced her temple, broke through her jaw and is now embedded in her right shoulder. Jody now lives with an unending grief over the loss of Olivia.

Looking back, she wishes she had left Brian sooner, but faced fear and doubt of how to break free. Her goal now is to help others in abusive relationships.

Jody started the Live for Liv Foundation, created in honor of Olivia and to help those impacted by domestic violence.

From Aug. 7-16, the foundation will hold the Virtual Ride for Liv/Run for Liv fundraising event. The annual fundraiser is usually held in person, but with the threat of coronavirus, the event will be held virtually this year.

The event includes bike rides of 6, 23 or 50 miles, as well as 5K and 10K runs, which participants get 10 days to complete. It costs $30 per person and fundraising can be done individually or as a team.

The fundraiser also offers the Titan 10 Kids Event, which offers 10 days of challenges for kids ages 2 to 14 (and older, if they like). Families pay $10 for their children to pick a fun challlenge each day and those who post pictures and videos to the Live for Liv Facebook page have a chance to win prizes.

“It’s fun and a good memory, but also it’s raising money for something that is very much needed,” Marchand said.

The money raised will be deposited in an endowment account that will be used to provide transitional housing to abuse victims who need to be trained or educated for employment.

The goal is to help victims escape a potentially dangerous situation.

The fundraising event is another step for Marchand to address the pain of losing the daughter she cherished, while also helping others overcome their own battles with domestic violence.

“It could be you,” Jody said. “It could be your brother, your mother, your sister, your father, your good friend. Domestic violence is so common and that’s what needs to be talked about.”

To sign up for the Virtual Ride for Liv/Run for Liv, visit the Live for Liv website at

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis


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