On March 16, 2014, at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, sixteen-year-old Cameron K. Gallagher passed away as she crossed the finish line. On that day, Cameron struggled to finish a race that she had set as a personal goal for herself—and was victorious. Completing this race, however, was not Cameron’s only struggle. Cameron had been battling severe depression and anxiety for several years. The ever-smiling teen was growing tired of keeping her struggle a private battle. She knew that, like her, many teens were in great pain behind closed doors. As she trained for the half marathon, she took it upon herself to address the misplaced stigma held by so many about teenage depression. Her dream was to create a 5k race in her community to help raise awareness of teenage depression. She had titled that race the SpeakUp5k in order to draw attention to the issue of teen depression, and to let other teens know that it was okay to speak up about their personal battles.
The SpeakUp5k race series serves as a primary vehicle to drive the SpeakUp message into the community in a powerful, positive, familial, and active way. The purpose of the race is for people and families to come together and “Speak Up” for positive causes, for those that are suffering, for those that are battling depression and anxiety and to challenge people to support one another visibly and vocally.
While Richmond, Virginia, will continue to be the home of the original SpeakUp5k, this race, Cameron’s dream, will be expanding to communities across the United States. We are thrilled to be coming to the West Coast on May 2, 2015 with SpeakUp5k San Diego, and could not do this without your support!
To learn more about the Cameron K. Gallagher Memorial Foundation and the SpeakUp5K, please visit: http://speakup5k.com/