On Thursday, September 17th I will once again bring my Cabaret show It Runs in the Family to the stage of the Virginia Repertory Theater at Willow Lawn in Richmond, Virginia. Net proceeds from the show will benefit the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation/SpeakUp 5k.
Growing up in a family where mental illness is prevalent is hard but my family taught me the power of humor, storytelling, love, and forgiveness. In this show I share songs and stories about my own experiences hoping to reduce the stigma that exists around mental illness, empower others to own their truth, and tell the world about the amazing people who made me who I am. My grandfather lived with schizophrenia and as young person was not allowed to talk about the things that were happening to him for fear that he would be institutionalized. Today 70 years later I wants to be his voice.
All of my shows benefit a charity doing important work in the community and this time is no different! This time around I am honored to be doing the show in support of the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation/SpeakUp 5k. On March 16, 2014 at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, sixteen-year-old Cameron K. Gallagher passed away as she crossed the finish line from an undiagnosed heart condition. On that day Cameron struggled to finish a race that she had set as a personal goal for herself—and was victorious. But that was not the only hard fight that Cameron fought. Cameron suffered from severe depression and anxiety for several years. The ever-smiling teen was growing tired of keeping her struggle a private battle. She knew that like her, many teens were in great pain behind closed doors. As she trained for the half marathon, she took it upon herself to address the misplaced stigma held by so many about teenage depression. Her dream was to create a 5k race in her community to help raise awareness of teenage depression. She had titled that race the SpeakUp5k in order to draw attention to the issue of teen depression and to let other teens like herself know that it was okay to “Speak Up” about their personal battles. Cameron’s dream is now a legacy far greater then she ever could have imagined.
I hope you will join me if you are able. Get your tickets here!