RICHMOND, Va. -- Cameron Gallagher was a 16-year-old who died after finishing a half marathon in Virginia Beach last spring.
While many people may remember Cameron, few knew she suffered from anxiety and depression.
Now a foundation in her honor is hoping to help others overcome the same battle.
A group of runners met inside Lucky Foot at Willow Lawn, all of them committed to spread awareness about the darkness depression brings; in remembrance of Cameron Gallagher. Surrounded by inspirational quotes and words of encouragement written by a teenager who saw more than her fair share of unhappy moments.
“She created a mission for us to follow and deliver on,” her dad said in front of a crowd.
By looking at this vibrant teen you'd never know the fight she fought within. She turned to running to escape her heavy thoughts.
”Her goal was to complete a race,” her dad said.
Last spring she made that goal a reality by entering and completing the Shamrock Half-Marathon. Cameron left her mark, but didn't get to celebrate.
She collapsed at the finish line, and died from a heart condition no one knew she had.
“We really had no forewarning,” her dad said.
But her family is choosing to be positive. ”It’s very hard. We`ve lost our daughter."
They're keeping Cameron’s dream alive through the Speakup-5k Foundation, an idea of hers. The first event this year was a success. They found out about her aspirations after her death, while going through her room.
“Cameron really wanted to speak out for people who were down,” her dad said. “She really felt like people treated people who were down poorly."
A group will run the next Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon in Cameron's memory.
“Speak up about this because it does impact all of us,” one of the runner's said.
And with the urging of Cameron’s sister Riley they've decided they won't run sad.
“Don`t be sad when you think about her, be happy,” Riley said. “This is a celebration," her mom said.