The tragic death of 30-year-old hairdresser Claire Squires has made headlines both online and offline worldwide, after she died less than one mile from the finishing line whilst taking part in the London Marathon last Sunday.
Initially raising £500, soon her profile - as well as donations - soared, after news of her death spread like wildfire throughout various social media sites. Yesterday's total on her JustGiving fundraising page stood at an incredible £400,000, with donations continuing to pour in from across the globe.
Running for the Samaritans as her chosen charity for the London Marathon, Claire Squires' decided on the emotional support service following her brother's death. Twenty-five year old Grant Squires died from a heroin overdose, just a week after his girlfriend died in a car crash. It was this unfortunate event coupled with Claire's mother, Cilla, volunteering for the Samaritans that inspired Claire in her decision to run for the charity.
Claire posted on her fundraising page: "hi guys as you all know i am running the london marathon it was just going to be for fun. but its a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the samaritans if everyone i know could donate £5.00 that would be a great help and change lives."
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the Samaritans, expressed how overwhelmed the charity was from receiving the donations: "We desperately wish that it was not under these circumstances but we have been overwhelmed by the response from people donating in Claire's memory," she said.
"These donations will be put into a tribute fund and, following discussions with the family, will go towards projects they feel would have been important to Claire."
Approximately 37,500 runners took part in the London Marathon, and Ms Squires' death is the 10th since the race first started in 1981. She is the only woman to have died whilst competing in the marathon.