CHICAGO
10/23/2013 05:20 pm ET

Katrina Shelby, Illinois Woman, With ALS And Months Left To Live, Getting Skydiving Birthday Wish

Chicago-area woman Katrina Shelby is getting one amazing early birthday gift.

Shelby, who turns 31 on Friday, was set to go skydiving Wednesday afternoon.

The Bourbonnais, Ill. woman has been dealing with illness for much of her life. She was first diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease) at the age of 15, according to CBS Chicago.

Her mother also had the disease and died of ALS in 2001, just before she was to fulfill Shelby's dream of the two skydiving together on her 18th birthday.

And though her mother won't be joining her, Shelby isn't waiting any longer. After doctors told her she has less than a year to live, her sister-in-law and former doctor contacted the Chicagoland Skydiving Center about Shelby's skydiving aspirations. The Rochelle, Ill. center set her up with a free instructor and videographer, NBC Chicago reports.

"It's amazing! I'm so excited," Shelby told the station of the experience, which she was set to share with her husband, who joined her on the plane, and her sister-in-law and daughters who will be waiting on the ground. "Really I can't believe they did this."

Shelby's story recalls that of John Mohler Jr., a Bolingbrook, Ill. man with multiple sclerosis who has skydived multiple times at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center and was featured by Chicagoist last year. The facility also hosts an annual MS benefit "boogie," raising both money and awareness for the disease.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Random Acts Of Kindness

CONVERSATIONS