A BRAVE Barrhead woman is taking to the skies to raise money for sufferers of rare congenital diseases.

Claire McKay will take part in a charity skydive for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Scotland, which supports those affected by the two conditions from which it takes its name.

In East Renfrewshire alone there are 75 people who access the charity’s services.

Claire, 26, told the Barrhead News she is looking forward to taking the plunge for such a worthy cause.

She said: “I’ve been wanting to skydive since I was 12 years old, so I’ve been psyching myself up to do it for a long time.

“I’ve done things like bungee jumping before, so I have an idea of what I’m letting myself in for.

“My mum wants to come along to support me, even though she is a little bit concerned about what I’m doing.”

Spina bifida is caused by underdevelopment of the spine during pregnancy and often results in difficulty walking and, at worst, paralysis.

Hydrocephalus, which also affects babies in the womb, is caused by a build-up of fluid in the skull, hindering basic brain functions.

While they are separate conditions, they often develop alongside each other, with spina bifida subsequently leading to hydrocephalus due to how fundamental the spinal cord is to brain activity.

The skydive, which takes place at Errol Airfield, Perthshire, on June 23, is one of many physical challenges that SBH Scotland arranges as part of its fundraising campaigns.

To raise money, Claire has set up a JustGiving page with a target of £515.

Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland, said: “I would like to thank Claire and all those who are taking to the skies for our organisation.

“Without their brave and fearless determination to soar high for charity, we would not be able to provide vital support to families affected by these lifelong disabilities.”

You can support Claire by making a donation at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-mckay15