Henrico teen plans race before death, thousands fulfill her dream

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a dream come true for a Henrico family, with thousands running in Byrd Park to fight the stigma of depression. It's a race that 16-year-old Cameron Gallagher planned by herself, just months before she lost her own life.

Gallagher passed away in March, when she collapsed after a Virginia Beach half marathon. One of her dreams was to plan the exact race that unfolded Saturday.

"I was so excited to get here and see so many other people out supporting such a wonderful event," said runner Anne Jacoby in an interview Saturday.

Gallagher loved to run - and used her training to help fight feelings of depression. She planned Saturday's Speak Up 5k to raise awareness for teen depression. Her message is to embrace, rather than stigmatize kids who battle sadness, so they can seek help freely.

"It's supporting youth depression and just speaking up about how people are struggling," said Jacoby. "You know bullying has become such a big thing that this cause really is important."

Thanks to all the participants, more than $150,000 will go to the Virginia Treatment Center for Children.

With a mile to go before Cameron's final race, she told a friend, "let's finish this." Now friends, family and supporters of Cameron, are helping her to finish what she could only dream.

"All of us kind of felt like we should support the kind of person that she was," said runner Jordan Roeder. "So we came out here and it was great."

The Speak Up 5K will now be an annual event happening the first Saturday after Labor Day.

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