(LONDON) — The charity fund set up by Claire Squires, the runner who died during the last mile of the London marathon, has passed the $1 million mark.
More than 54,000 people have contributed; most in donations of £5 and £10 in a huge outpouring of public support. She ran the marathon with £500 in sponsorship for a suicide prevention line.
Squires collapsed on the road to Buckingham Palace and died during the final mile of the London marathon last Sunday. It was the second marathon for the 30-year-old hairdresser from Leicestershire who seemed to delight in taking on epic challenges to raise money for charity. Last year she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise a few thousand dollars for the families of injured soldiers.
For Sunday’s run, she had raised $800 for Samaritans, a British suicide prevention line.
“I’m running the London Marathon for Samaritans because they continuously support others,” she wrote on her fund-raising webpage.
Her modest fundraising has gone viral, triggering a wave of mostly small donations.
“An inspiration and an angel,” wrote one donor who gave $8 on her webpage. “You created something amazing,” wrote another.
Catherine Johnstone, the head of the charity that will benefit from this outpouring of generosity, says she is overwhelmed.
“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.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN