Claire Squires, a 30-year-old woman from North Kilworth, Leics, started the London Marathon with the hope of raising money for the Samaritans in memory of her 25-year-old brother who died of an overdose. Sadly, Squires never finished the race. But some good has come from Squires’ tragic death. People around the world have been opening their check books and donating money to the charity. So far, more than $400,000 has been donated to the Samaritans.
According to the Telegraph, Claire’s brother Grant died of an overdose in 2001, shortly after girlfriend Heidi Richardson died in a car accident. In honor of her brother, Claire was trying to raise money for the Samaritans, a group that offers emotional help to distressed people.
Claire’s family and friends were shocked by her death since Squire had successfully completed the London Marathon in 2010. She also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise money for the RAF Association.
After Squire’s death, a flurry of tributes and donations flooded the pages of JustGiving.com. The Telegraph reports that nearly all of the donations came in small increments between $10 and $20 and so far $400,000 has been raised.
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said:
“Claire chose to run the marathon for Samaritans as her mother Cilla Squires has been a volunteer for the charity for 24 years. This is an incredibly sad time for Claire’s family and all those who knew her. 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. 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.”
The organizers of the London Marathon said that Claire Squire’s death is the 10th since the marathon began in 1981.