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Claire Squires' Charity Fund Passes $1 Million After 30-Year-Old Briton Died During London Marathon

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A charity fund set up by Claire Squires, the young woman who died while running the last mile of the London marathon, has passed the $1 million mark thanks to the donations from more than 61,000 supporters, ABC News reports.

According to The Huffington Post, Squires had been competing for the second time in the 26.2-mile marathon and was running this year in memory of her brother, Grant, who died from a drug overdose in 2011. She was also running to raise awareness for Samaritans, a British suicide prevention hotline.

At the time of her death, the 30-year-old hairdresser from Leicester, England, had raised around $800.

Squires was no stranger to challenging herself for a good cause, the Mirror reports. Last year, she climbed Mount Kilimajaro to raise $2,400 for the Royal Air Forces Association and she also ran a marathon for the Children's Society.

After her sudden -- and as yet unexplained -- death, Victoria Hauser, an old friend of Squires', mourned the loss of the "most beautiful person inside and out."

"She was a giver, all the time," Hauser told News 5.

Squires' story and generosity has since touched the hearts of thousands worldwide. The link to Claire’s site has now been retweeted 13,000 times and recommended 55,000 times on Facebook.

"An inspiration and an angel," wrote one donor on her webpage. "You created something amazing," wrote another.

Earlier this week, billionaire Richard Branson also pledged to make a "private donation" to Squires' charity fund, the Mirror reports.

"With the kind of money that has been raised by Claire’s appeal, lives will definitely be saved," the Virgin Group magnate said in a statement. "I’ve always believed that it is wonderful if you can live on after death by helping others and the human kindness shown by this outpouring of giving for Claire and Samaritans is an inspiration."

Also in a statement released this week, Squires' parents Paul and Cilla expressed their gratitude to the legions of supporters who have come forward with their generosity and expressions of condolence, BBC reports.

"Claire would be so happy and overwhelmed with the incredible support that has been offered by thousands of people from all over the world," it said.

"Don't stop giving, just like her. It's what she would have wanted," it continued.

Squires' mother had been a volunteer for Samaritans for 24 years.

The non-profit's chief executive, Catherine Johnstone, said that the organization has been overwhelmed by the response from people donating "in Claire’s memory", BBC reports.

“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,” she added.

Watch the ABC News report:

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