An overflow crowd on hand today to say goodbye to a Henrico teenager. Sixteen-year-old Cameron Gallagher died last weekend following a half-marathon in Virginia Beach.
Other rooms at the St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Richmond were opened to accommodate hundreds of people who came to pay their final respects.
Family members carried her casket outside the church. Benedictine cadets stand with sabers ready. Her brother, a graduate of the school, was a pall bearer. More than a thousand people came to pay their final respects.
Many of the mourners were teenagers, who never had to say goodbye to a friend before.
"She was the strong girl I'd ever met," says Kathleen Baughan who was on a swim team with Cameron.
"I'm so happy that she can look down and see all these people here, to see how many people truly love her," says Lexie Stavac, who was also on a swim team with Cameron.
Each person has their own story on how this teenager touched his or her life.
"I have tutored many people," says Diane Moncure who tutored Cameron in Math at Freeman High School. "I loved her dearly. I wish I could get her back and just give her one big hug."
Cameron died after running a half marathon in Virginia Beach. Her parents were by her side when it happened, and today they said goodbye to their oldest daughter.
But through the tears, there is a promise. A memorial fund has been set up in memory of Cameron; the money will go toward organizing a 5-k run for charity.
"It was about speaking up against bullying and anxiety and suicide and all of the things so many people are fighting with now and she was raising money for it," says Stavac.
And although the finish line may have come too soon for Cameron, loved ones say they look to continue her mission.
Cameron leaves behind a large family including her parents, an older brother and three younger siblings.
The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of her death
Gallagher's cause of death has not yet been determined. She was buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Click here to donate to Cameron's memorial benefit run.
Click here for the Facebook page on the Speaking Up 5k Run.
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