RICHMOND, Va. – Starting a 5k called “Speak Up” to help raise awareness for teen depression was an idea that meant the world to Cameron Gallagher.
“She would be up for hours just planning this, writing speeches,” Reilly Gallagher, the teenager’s sister, said.
Cameron’s father said she had been frustrated with a negative social stigma associated with teenage depression, and wanted to change that.
“It [depression] was something that she lived with and every day it was in her,” David Gallagher said. “It really frustrated her that that would be frowned upon or you might be looked at as weird because you suffered from depression.”
However, the teen died earlier this year after running a half-marathon in Virginia Beach. Now, Cameron’s family and friends are finishing what she started.
“This is the only thing I’ve been motivated for ever since she passed,” said brother Andrew Gallagher. “This was her dream.”
A kick-off event was held on Saturday to help promote the race, which will be on September 6. The 5k will be at Byrd Park in Richmond.
The celebration was also a way to raise money for the operation of the event, which drew thousands to Brown’s Island throughout the day.
“It’s the most incredible thing knowing that Cameron has touched to many people,” said friend Abby Donelson, who helped Cameron start to plan the 5k.
The money raised at the 5k in September will go toward the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Family members said that was a place Cameron wanted to see the money go to before she passed away.