Rachel Coyne has a passion for travel, so despite receiving the terrible news, it hasn't stopped her form keeping a positive mindset
Inspirational ex-police husband and wife team, Rachel and Colman Coyne, from Huddersfield, have enjoyed great success with their Travel Franchise business since its launch in 2013 – a remarkable story as Rachel received the awful news that she had cancer just after their new business had launched.
Rachel and Colman knew that life in the police wasn’t their long-term career plan as they prepared to enter their 50s. As keen travellers themselves, they made the decision to invest in The Travel Franchise and set up their own part-time travel agency in 2013. Their goal was to take it full-time as soon as possible and retire from the police. For the couple, franchising was key, as they wanted to leverage a proven business model, as well as get the training and ongoing support they knew they’d need. But, with their new business barely underway, Rachel received the awful news that she had cancer.
She explains: “Colman and I were terrified. We didn’t know what was ahead and felt scared for my life. My son Daniel was only 17 at the time and I couldn’t take the thought of him losing his mum so soon.”
Despite the news, they kept building their business part-time while Rachel underwent five months of gruelling chemotherapy, helping Colman whenever she could. After a year, Rachel got the all-clear, and soon after their franchise was booming. It meant Colman could retire from the police six years early, earning more than his previous salary faster than they initially planned. Over the last nine years, their business has gone from strength to strength. With a fiercely loyal set of customers, it’s now a multi-million-pound operation in its own right and shows no signs of slowing down.
All of this is despite Rachel receiving the terrible news that her cancer had returned at the end of 2020. Unfortunately, Rachel also received the news that her cancer was incurable and that she’d need treatment for the rest of her life. However, true to form, she refuses to lose her positive outlook and resilient attitude.
She explains: “The tumour had come back. I’d always known it was a possibility, but I’d hoped I’d never have to go through it again. But I tried to stay positive because that was all I could do. I just wanted to start a treatment plan as soon as I could. I didn’t have to go off sick, as Colman reminded me work was now so much more flexible and he could support me whenever I felt too unwell. I now have an injection every three weeks and when I feel well enough, I get to work with Colman. It can be tiring working while I have cancer, but travel is something I’m passionate about. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, so I’m willing to put in the work.
“I was absolutely devastated when I got the news it was incurable, however, there was nothing I could do to change it. There are lots of people who have to live with health conditions, I thought, so I just had to get on with it and adapt. Now things have opened up after COVID – we’ve got some trips planned to the Maldives and Tenerife and I can’t wait. There are dark days, but I’m keeping a positive mindset and I’m not going to let my cancer beat me. I’m still going to live my life to the fullest, despite my diagnosis. As for our business, it is the best decision we have ever made!”