The British Lung Foundation has praised Katie Price’s efforts in Sunday’s London Marathon, even though she didn’t complete the race.
The 39-year-old mother-of-five was forced to drop out before she’d even reached half way through the 26.2 mile run.
She was reported to be struggling with a knee injury and her elaborate lung costume on what was the hottest day in the event’s history.
Katie was raising money and awareness for the BLF in support of her mum, Amy, 64, who was last year diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Now the charity’s director of fundraising, Jason Cater, has said they are grateful for everything Katie has done.
He told The Sun Online: “This year we had 131 runners in Team Breathe for the London Marathon, and we’re so proud of their incredible efforts. It was an emotional day as many people were running in memory of a loved one lost too soon to lung disease.
“It’s thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts and awareness raising of people like Katie and all of our Team Breathe members that we’re able to continue our vital work.”
The charity research new treatments and support people with lung disease and their families across the UK.
Jason said it’s not unusual for someone running for the charity to drop out of the gruelling long-distance event, and like Katie, “they are always gutted that they can’t cross the finish line.”
So far, Katie has raised £2,243.69, surpassing her initial target of £2,000. Many of the donations have come in after she dropped out of the race, with people praising her for at least giving it a go.
“Your mum is proud, Katie – that’s all that counts. And you raised awareness about an important condition. Well done you. Stay strong,” one donor wrote.
“Well done Katie! I ran yesterday and it was ridiculously tough out there! The organisers recommended those in fancy dress should ditch their costumes so well done for trying! You know you can do it and you’ve raised awareness and more than your target!” said another.
Even some of those who have blasted Katie for not finishing have still donated to her cause.
“You are an absolute joke. People have ran further for buses!” said one, as they gave a pound.
Another reminded her as they also gave a pound: “You claimed you would ‘crawl over the line’ if you had to……”
Amy was diagnosed with IPF last year – the same disease which killed Keith Chegwin.
The illness causes fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs, making them stiffer and thus more difficult to breathe. She is currently hoping for a life-saving lung transplant.
Katie today shared an image of her mum holding a bunch of flowers with her Instagram followers writing: “How beautiful is my mum. Love this pic she sent me.”
Her followers agreed, with many of them taking the opportunity to praise her for raising money and awareness for charity.
“Katie ignore all the haters, I think you did well yesterday and your mum is proud of you, you raised awareness and that it all that matters. Who cares if you didn’t finish,” one wrote.
Another said: “That’s lovely for your mum. Sorry to hear she is so ill. Don’t mind the criticism of the marathon, you raised more awareness running what you did in that costume then you would have running the whole thing wearing normal gear.”
Yesterday, Katie’s Loose Women colleagues and her mum leapt to her defence after all the criticism she received on social media for dropping out of the marathon.
Linda Robson said: “How well did Katie do. I know she didn’t finish, only got half way through but she was doing it for her mum and she tried her hardest. Honestly, she really did.”
The Birds of a Feather actress added: “I felt so sorry for her as she was getting such flak yesterday.”
Jane Moore added: “It is very easy to sit and criticise when you are back home and not the one to make the decision to go into the London Marathon, don’t criticise those who have.”
Linda agreed saying Katie was right to stop, especially as it was reported she had a knee injury.
“You know your own body as well. If you can’t do it, you have to stop, and she stopped. Good luck to her for trying,” Linda said.
Katie’s mum also defended her daughter.
In a video posted on Instagram of the pair together, Amy, 64, said: “Hello everyone, I would just like to say how proud I am of my daughter Katie for doing the marathon.
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“She may not have completed it but she has brought so much awareness, it’s been worth it for the British Lung Foundation.”
Katie then sticks her tongue out, blowing a raspberry.
She wrote alongside the video: “I did train for the run, tried my best in a heavy outfit and if my mummy is proud that’s what matters to me.”
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