A BUSINESSWOMAN who survived “the scariest time of her life” after being struck down by illness is now in line for a national award.
Entrepreneur Sue Oliver has told of a terrifying health scare which threatened to put the brakes on her chauffeur business.
Rainbow Trike Tours owner Sue was revving up her three-wheeled venture when she was left bed-ridden and blinded by multiple sclerosis.
But the brave biker remained driven and is now nominated for an award for women who mean business.
Her journey on the road to success took a wrong turn when severe symptoms of her neurological condition cast doubts over her driver’s licence.
Sue told the Leader how she overcame “the scariest time of her life” to stay firmly in the driving seat.
“The idea of Rainbow Trike Tours first came about back in 2007, when I developed a love of the three wheeled vehicle known commonly as a trike,” said Sue, 41, who is also an IT assessor and trainer at Deeside College.
“After finally buying a trike I wanted to share the experience with everyone and began to hatch a plan on how it could possibly become a feasible business idea.”
She explained: “Five years previous I had what I call a ‘wobble’, the consultants called it ‘possible multiple sclerosis’.
“I put my head firmly in the sand and continued to party, rally and act like nothing had happened.
“Last February my body decided enough was enough and laid me out, bedridden and half-blind.
“I was petrified, I had no idea what was happening to me, what was going to happen.”
She added: “I was fraught with worry over my licence as if I lost it it would jeopardise the whole business.”
Sue concentrated her efforts on managing her symptoms and was supported by “amazing” friends and family.
A year on and she has her symptoms under control and undergoes regular medical assessments to renew her licence every three years.
“Flintshire Council and Deeside College have been so supportive,” she said.
Her business raced from the start line and has since chauffeured blushing brides to their big day, sent Santa to Christmas lights switch-ons and taken tourists on spins around North Wales beauty spots.
The icing on the cake for Sue is becoming a finalist in Network She International Women’s Day Awards 2013.
The accolade recognises and rewards the efforts and achievements of women in business across the country, who have succeeded in their chosen field during difficult, turbulent and unpredictable times.
Sue, who lives in Queensferry, will attend a glittering black tie event on Friday, March 8, at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
“We are so proud to have been selected by the judges as a finalist,” said Sue.
“When I founded Rainbow Trike Tours back in May 2012 it was like a dream come true to finally start the business I had been planning for several years previously.
“I sold many personal items and made lots of sacrifices in order to fund the business and continue to do so to this day.
“I have to say it is worth all the hard work in order to be able to offer such a unique service here in North Wales and the surrounding areas.
“I have always worked in male dominated areas, in such roles as driving assessor, large goods vehicle driver and instructor and now business owner and chauffeur of Rainbow Trike Tours.
“I see every day as a new challenge and thrive on the road to success.”