A PLUCKY Cupar mum is gearing up to take on a daring challenge to help raise the profile of a condition that almost cost her son his life.
Businesswoman Shirley Halley, who runs Cherries in the Bonnygate, is due to leap some 12,000 feet from a plane on February 26 when she does a freefall tandem skydive in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
She wants to raise awareness as well as cash after her son Stewart (33) underwent a series of operations for Crohn’s disease, a potentially fatal condition for which there’s no cure.
Stewart was diagnosed with Crohn’s at the age of 19 and since then has had to endure extensive drug treatment as well as surgery.
He has had six operations since October 2009 and during the first, a double bowel re-section, he almost died.
Despite his ill-health, Stewart bravely did a bungee jump which raised over £600 and was keen to tackle a skydive too — but just wasn’t well enough.
However it didn’t take much to persuade mum Shirley (59) to take on the challenge instead. In fact, she ‘jumped’ at the chance!
She said: “I’ve always wanted to do a skydive and my husband, Ian, bought me a voucher for Christmas so it seemed an ideal chance to fulfil an ambition and raise money for charity at the same time.
“The staff at Ninewells who looked after Stewart were amazing and I felt I wanted to give something back as well as raise awareness of the disease.
“I’m not at all nervous about the skydive, in fact I’m really looking forward to it. People say I’m either very brave or completely mad!”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Shirley can do so at Cherries.