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Family encourages others to ‘Speak Up’ after daughter’s untimely death

RICHMOND, Va. – The father of a 16-year-old girl who died after running the Shamrock ½ Marathon in Virginia Beach said his daughter was the kindest person you could ever meet.

“Anytime that she interacted with someone, she was kind and caring to them,” David Gallagher said about his daughter Cameron.

 Cameron Gallagher (PHOTO:  Gallagher family)

Cameron Gallagher (PHOTO: Gallagher family)

Cameron’s heart stopped beating shortly after she finished the March race.

“Her heart was just full of love,” Gallagher said.

His daughter often took special care of people who were struggled with issues, he recalled.

“Whether they were struggling with an illness or someone broke up with a boyfriend, she was the one right by their side, all of the time,” he said.

 Cameron Gallagher (PHOTO:  Gallagher family)

Cameron Gallagher (PHOTO: Gallagher family)

But Cameron was not always happy.

Gallagher said his daughter suffered from teenage depression. He said there were times during her young life where the depression was so bad, they had to pull Cameron out of school.

“It was something that she lived with and every day it was in her,” Gallagher said. “She became very frustrated with the social stigma associated with teenage depression. It really frustrated her that that would be frowned upon or you might be looked at as weird because you suffered from depression.”

In Cameron’s honor, her family started the Speak Up Foundation to help raise awareness and help encourage other teens to come forward with their issues. This weekend the SpeakUp5k will help launch the foundation.