LYING in her hospital bed, Tracey Broadway vowed she would not be beaten by breast cancer.
Instead, the mum-of-two looked for ways to take her mind off the gruelling chemotherapy.
News Group Newspapers Ltd The mum-of-two thought she was going to die but decided to combat that by ‘making life something worth living’
Tracey, who came up with an idea for a skincare range while lying in a hospital bed, rubs serum on Henry’s faceIt was while sitting on an oncology ward, with drugs pumping into her veins, that Tracey came up with her £1million business idea — a new, simple skincare range.
Tracey, 37, says: “I thought I was going to die and never see my gorgeous children grow up.
“But something deep inside me told me I was not ready to give up. I would fight and make life something worth living.”
Tracey, mum to Matilda, seven, and eight-year-old Henry, had worked on make-up counters and as a nail technician.
PA Real Life Tracey feared she would not see her children including seven-year-old daughter Matilda grow up
She had also managed a chain of successful beauty salons.
While Tracey was having treatment at Poole Hospital in Dorset, her marketing consultant partner Henry Baker, 43, sat by her with a laptop, helping to bring her plan to life.
From an investment of just £300 in May 2015, which bought 200 serums, the business born on a ward is now taking the internet by storm. The British-made, natural-based skincare range began with a face serum.
It now includes eye gels, moisturisers and lip butters, starting at £17.77.
PA Real Life Tracey, with eight-year-old son Henry took her mind off gruelling chemo sessions by thinking up ideas for her skincare range and called her products HighBorn, after the nobles in TV hit Game Of Thrones
Tracey, from Swanage, called her products HighBorn, after the nobles in TV hit Game Of Thrones, because she and Henry had watched box sets of the show together when she was ill.
She says: “I was desperate for a pick-me-up — just something to make me feel normal and remind me what it was like to feel healthy.
“So, as I sat in the hospital with the toxic chemo drugs flowing into me, Henry said I needed something to take my mind off it all.
News Group Newspapers Ltd While Tracey was having treatment at Poole Hospital in Dorset, her marketing consultant partner Henry Baker, 43, sat by her with a laptop helping to bring her plan to life
“He was right. Life had been so grim and I needed to start taking the reins on my life again.
“He has experience in selling and marketing and I have knowledge of the beauty industry, so we started dreaming about having a business together.
“We wanted skincare products that would make every woman look and feel fantastic, no matter what they were facing.”
News Group Newspapers Ltd Tracey had to undergo gruelling treatment which involved three months of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy
Tracey was diagnosed with stage one cancer in April 2015 after finding a lump in her right breast. She says: “I’m a small B-cup, so at first I didn’t think much of the pea-sized ball I found.
“But as a few weeks went by, something was nagging at me to see the doctor and get it checked out.
“After a biopsy at Poole Hospital, I was given the earth-shattering news it was cancer.
“I just fell to the floor in total disbelief.” Tracey then began gruelling treatment which involved three months of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy.
News Group Newspapers Ltd Just a month into her treatment, Tracey and Henry started to bring her vision for a natural skincare range to life
She says: “It was a shock. The kids were only three and four at the time. And at that point, I didn’t know anyone who had lost their hair to cancer, or who’d had to sit having chemo for 12 hours a day and feel horrendous afterwards.
“The cancer takes so much away from what makes you feel like a woman. My skin was dry, I was pale and I felt like death.”
But just a month into her treatment, she and Henry started to bring her vision for a natural skincare range to life. Tracey, who had lymph nodes and a small area of tissue on her right breast removed in October 2015, was given the all-clear shortly afterwards.
She says: “As I had my treatment, my dream started to take shape. My skin felt dry and tired, so we started with a serum.
Son whose mum died of breast cancer after not having a screening claimed NHS staff ‘shrugged their shoulders’ when asked if glitch was to blame
“I chose one made in the UK with a lovely coconut smell. We came up with the name and developed our brand idea to the point that when I got the all-clear after my surgery, the business was really starting to take off.
“We started trading on Amazon, which gave us a major boost because we were selling products worldwide.
“Without that platform, as a small business, we wouldn’t have grown as fast as we did.”
Now, two years since its launch, HighBorn is on the verge of achieving a £1million annual turnover.