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. But that was not the only hard fight that Cameron wrestled with. Cameron Gallagher combated 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 like herself know that it was okay to speak up about their personal battles.
Upon finding Cameron’s original plans for the race, her parents fulfilled her dream by holding the first SpeakUp5k race in her honor and starting the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to fulfill Cameron's dream and legacy by being a positive force that works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety.
Volunteer Opportunities with SpeakUp
There are many opportunities available for students interested in volunteering with the SpeakUp5k and CKG Foundation. In May we have two events that need volunteer support with additional opportunities this summer and in September.
1. May 16, 2015: We need ten (10) volunteers to represent SpeakUp at the Power Kids Triathlon on Saturday, May 16th. Please click on the following link to register to volunteer with us at the water stop. https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=30407
2. May 29-31, 2015: There are numerous volunteer opportunities at the SpeakUp Revolution. A two-day event with three days of volunteer opportunities at the Richmond Raceway on May 29- 31. SpeakUp Revolution is a family friend party to raise awareness of teen depression and anxiety as the Rev3Rush hosts an exciting triathlon in the infield of the Richmond International Raceway. Click on the following link to volunteer, then choose sign up for an existing team, and choose your school’s team to register. https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=32576
3. September 12, 2015: Please join us for the Second Annual SpeakUp5k race at Byrd Park. This is our central event and we appreciate your assistance greatly (registration opens in July). https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=32403
4. Students who wish to gain community service hours on a regular basis, or would like the opportunity to be trained as SpeakUp Ambassadors this summer may contact Samantha Mier at Samantha@speakup5k.com
To learn more about the Cameron K. Gallagher Memorial Foundation and the SpeakUp5K, please visit: http://speakup5k.com/
Thank you so very much for being a part of this movement. Together we will raise awareness for teenage anxiety and depression and support those who are fighting the good fight!