Banchory couple raise £2k for charity

Abby and Martin McDonald with their daughter Bella
Abby and Martin McDonald with their daughter Bella

A family who were told their daughter had spina bifida and hydrocephalus shortly after their 20-week scan, have raised £2,000 for the charity who have supported them by leading the Mighty Stride at Aberdeen’s Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk.

Abby and Martin McDonald, both 34 and from Banchory, set off from Duthie Park at 9am and walked 26 miles at the Scottish charity event to raise money for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland), who provide them with personalised support for their daughter Bella.

Abby said: “Martin and myself were honoured to lead out the Mighty Stride for Kiltwalk this year. It was tough but we’ve raised an amazing amount for SBH Scotland so completely worth it. They are wonderful and I wouldn’t be the positive person I am if I didn’t have their support.”

When Abby went for her 20-week scan while pregnant with Bella, the sonographer told her the baby’s head was the shape of a lemon, an initial sign of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A specialist from Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital put them in touch with Sophie Teear, a family support worker from SBH Scotland, who was able to offer further support and information.

Bella was born in April 2016. Her lower back was open at birth and the spina bifida lesion had damaged the nerves to her bowel, bladder and feet.

Abby said: “At the 30 week scan it was confirmed Bella’s back was open and every week from there her hydrocephalus was getting worse. I got so worried about everything that I ended up being hospitalised with stress the week before the c-section.

“A year on, Bella is such a bright, happy child who is doing really well. She’s wonderful and always smiling.”

Abby and Martin are still involved with the charity, regularly speaking with Sophie and attending the Aberdeen family support groups.

Abby added: “Before Bella was born, I was worked up and unwell and had Sophie not been there I certainly wouldn’t have the positivity I have today.”

Abby and Martin are still receiving donations via their Kiltwalk fundraising page at