A CANCER survivor who switched her corporate job for her own tourism business has said her dreams have come true.

Sue Brierley always wanted to open her own luxury pod camping business and had plans accepted in 2011 but she did not act on them because of her busy job.

But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, her whole world turned upside down and after going through gruelling treatment, she decided she wanted to chase her dream after being given the all-clear in 2016.

Now three years on, Mrs Brierley has set up her own pod camping and holiday cottage business with The Gabled Pod Camping, in Escomb.

The 50-year-old launched the business nine months ago and has not had a free weekend since with visitors coming from all over the country to stay in the pods or holiday cottage.

She is also a finalist of the North-East Business Awards in the tourism and hospitality category, where names such as Beamish Museum and Wynard Hall have also been named.

As well as expanding her business, with the hope of branching out into the wedding market, Mrs Brierley has also had stars of the tv show Geordie Shore come to stay for filming.

Her latest project will also see her team up with Diane Youdale - of the 90s tv show Gladiators - and the boss of Geordie Shore, Anna Parkin, hold wellness retreats at the site.

However, Mrs Brierley, from Sunderland, said her real passion lay in giving back and she has already donated 14 nights at the site to give cancer patients and their families a well-earned break.

"Cancer just gives you the nudge to see that life's for living, not wasting," she said. "Once you have had cancer - and what you go through - it never really goes away and we recognise that."

She added: "It's a positive that I'm still here to tell the tale and obviously if I had not got cancer, I would still be in the public sector, on the hamster wheel, but now I get to give back and do something I love.

Mrs Brierley said her husband, Mike, had been incredibly supportive through both her illness and starting her business and was always ready to help out with the DIY.

A night at the site costs £100 per couple.

For more information visit thegables-podcamping.co.uk or search for it on Facebook.