London Marathon runner's death inspires $1 million in donations
April 25th, 2012

London Marathon death: Claire Squires' Samaritans donations top £600,000

Claire Squires was running the marathon for the Samaritans
More than £600,000 has been donated to the Samaritans which was championed by a 30-year-old woman who died on the last leg of the London Marathon.

Claire Squires, from Leicestershire, collapsed near Birdcage Walk on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course.

Since her death on Sunday more than 55,000 people made donations on her JustGiving fundraising page.

The website said it will waive its fees after it saw a record number of visits on Miss Squires' page on Monday.

The hairdresser collapsed and died near St James's Park on Sunday after completing 25 miles and was jut a bend away from the finish line at the Mall.

She was the 11th participant to die since the event began in 1981.

'Don't stop giving'

Miss Squires, from North Kilworth, chose to run the marathon for the Samaritans because her mother Cilla Squires has been a volunteer there for 24 years.

Her family described her as "incredible, inspirational, beautiful and driven".

On Monday more than 10,000 people were donating at any given time, JustGiving said.

Anne-Marie Huby, managing director of JustGiving said: "The response to Claire Squires' tragic death on Sunday has been extraordinary.

"Out of respect for Claire's memory, we will be donating our fees back to the Samaritans."

The "huge wave of sympathy continues", the website said, with donations still coming in.

In a statement Miss Squires's family said: "Claire would be so happy and overwhelmed with the incredible support that has been offered by thousands of people from all over the world.

"For Claire and the Samaritans, please keep the donations coming. Don't stop giving, just like her. It's what she would have wanted."

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said: "We are truly humbled by the reaction from the public following Claire's tragic death.

"We appreciate JustGiving's kind gesture to donate their fees to the tribute fund that has been set up in Claire's memory."

The charity's annual turnover is about £10m each year, with individual donations accounting for about £3