THE GIRL BEHIND THE NAME
You are not defined by a struggle, a challenge, a diagnosis. She is hope for all to hold onto...
She is the light when all is dark. Why? Because she understands, she has fought through many battles when anxiety and depression drew its unyielding swords with the full force of fear, self-doubt, and loneliness.
Cameron Kathleen Gallagher would light up a room with sparkling blue eyes that penetrated right through your heart and a smile that gave flight to the butterflies inside. Dynamic, passionate and full of life. Most of the world knew and experienced these parts of Cameron. But there were other parts of Cameron that endured pain and darkness. Her older brother says this of his sister, “The problem with Cameron was her heart was too big. It allowed pain to enter. All she ever wanted was to love and be loved.” Cameron suffered from teenage depression and anxiety. Much of her struggle was done in isolated silence because of the stigma associated with depression
and anxiety. Cameron often wondered why in her darkest moments no one was there, yet in brighter times she was included in the conversations, invitations, group texts. She would wear a mask,
so the world would not have to experience the darkness and pain that had taken up residence inside of her. At times, the energy to put on that mask was too much. The energy to place one foot in front of the other was an insurmountable feat.
Through Cameron’s hard work and a team of supporters (both professional and loved ones), Cameron was finally able to say,
“…I am not this monster called depression and anxiety, I am Cameron Gallagher and I HAVE depression and anxiety.” Her whole perspective changed, and she turned her pain into purpose. Her passion to rid the world of judgment and stigma for those who face mental health challenges grew stronger every day. She began creating the plans to host what she named the SpeakUp5k. She wanted to raise awareness and understanding of teenage mental health.