A YOUNG lady in Yate is facing her fears with a 'leap of faith' in memory of her late daughter.

Nearly exactly a year ago Claire Grove, 21, was informing family and friends that she and her boyfriend Jacob Martin were expecting their first child.

Tragically however, their baby Libby died of Meningococcal disease in late March aged just six weeks.

"Devastating doesn’t even sum it up," Claire said when describing the events of March 26.

"It was surreal that it was happening. There was nothing anybody could do, I felt helpless.

"You never think something so horrible will happen to you but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side that day."

Meningococcal disease is a very serious bacterial infection, a combination of meningitis and septicaemia, and can be instantly life threatening. In Libby's case it struck within the space of a few hours.

"She brought a smile to everyone’s face, that’s why we called her our sunshine," Claire continued.

"Libby loved her cuddles and all the fuss everyone made over her, she was a very loved little girl.

"The only thing I can do now is to try and create awareness so something like this doesn’t happen to another family.

"Many people don’t know a lot about meningitis, most people think it starts with a rash but that’s not always the case. Libby had many other symptoms and the rash was one of the last to show."

Raising awareness is now exactly what Claire is planning to do, tackling one of her biggest fears and taking part in a skydive planned for Sunday, November 25.

"I’ve called my skydive the 'Leap for Libby', she has taught me life is too short," Claire explained.

"What better way to turn my fear into something positive, I will literally be taking a leap of faith.

"My plan is to make her proud, she taught me a lot in her short six weeks. Every step I take she will be taking it with me.

Libby died on March 26, just hours after her disease struck

"I want to create awareness, meningitis is very much about time. If you can spot symptoms sooner the more chance you have of saving limbs and a life.

"I want people affected by meningitis to receive the best support possible."

Claire has set up a justgiving page where people have donated to the cause. Whilst friend Emily Gravell, 21, has also got a page and will be taking on the jump with her.

"It’s been incredible, I cannot thank them enough for all of the kind words and donations. Emily is Libby’s Godmother and between us we have raised £700 so far which is amazing," Claire said.

"I’m very nervous, but excited. I’m doing it for Libby and a great charity, that’s a big enough push for me to get out of that plane. Everyone’s been really supportive and they can’t wait."

Claire also praised the people who had donated to the page, again stating how 'grateful' she is for their continued support through her ordeal.

"Thank you to everyone who has supported me already and all of the donations to the Meningitis Research Foundation," she said.

"Even though Libby is only here in spirit she is helping save others."

You can donate to Claire's justgiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/leapforlibby and Emily's page at justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-gravell.