ACG's Sandy Wiggins defines Cameron's impact.

Sandy Wiggins - 2014.jpeg

We met the Gallaghers when our oldest son, Max, and Andrew Gallagher, Cameron’s oldest brother, were in first grade.  Both Andrew and Max are now seniors in college.  Over the years, we spent many fun times with the Gallagher family.  I had the good fortune of seeing Cameron grow from a little girl into a beautiful young lady.  I am a better person having known her.

And although I spent many hours in her presence, it wasn’t until after her passing that I came to realize what an extraordinary person she was.  Cameron is the only person I've met in my life that has come to personify a particular combination of qualities deserving of her own definition.

Cameron
cam·e·ron
kam(ə)ron

noun
1.an extraordinary person

adjective
1.having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of others.
2.pertaining to the alleviation of suffering:
3.having or manifesting a great impact or effect

verb
1.to bring about an intended result; accomplish some purpose or effect.

Synonyms
Courage, Compassion, Fearlessness, Strength, Love, Resilience, Commitment

In her struggle, Cameron never gave up, and persevered to overcome a difficult situation with a positive attitude.  Her mission is so pure and straightforward.  To SpeakUp about teenage anxiety and depression, coupled with a 5k race, it’s genius.  Shining the light on the darkness that some teens feel…organizing a 5k race to bring like-minded people together to exercise and enjoy nature.  It is the perfect antidote to depression and anxiety.

Sponsoring the SpeakUp5k is a no-brainer for ACG.  The race is helpful on many fronts.  The race is a wonderful way to enjoy friends and family, as well as the beautiful setting that Byrd Park provides. It’s also important to acknowledge that this race event helps fund the other work the CKG Foundation conducts.  In 2016, the Foundation’s first year of programming, it impacted over 8,300 local teens with its programs.   In 2017, the Foundation aims to impact more than 24,000 students in 20 schools.

I certainly don't claim to understand what causes depression, or its impact on individuals and their families. However, I have seen that through Cameron, her mission, and the strength of Gallagher family, that each of us can play an impactful role in the fight to address teenage depression. I learned that through the many people involved, big positive change can occur. So our challenge is to look for ways to help those around us, as Cameron did.

Each day, let’s look for ways to help fulfill Cameron’s dream and legacy by being a positive force that works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety. 

Sandy Wiggins
ACG

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Samantha Mier