Sarah Young has worked in the NHS for 26 years but for the last two decades, she’s also been involved in house building, project management and property maintenance across Northumberland. Now, nearly three years after being diagnosed with the tumour, she’s taken the plunge and opened Sarah Young Property Management.
Sarah, who worked as a specialist diabetic nurse at Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington, has written clinical guidelines and advised doctors on treating diabetes. She has three degrees together with a recent Distinction BTEC in photography and also a qualification in ceramics.
Sarah first became interested in property 20 years ago when she was off work after breaking her leg. She designed and project managed the building of a new house on land next door to her home in West Thirston, near Morpeth. With the proceeds from the sale, she bought three shops and built a five-bedroom house in Warenford, which took just 16 weeks from start to finish.
She said: “I really enjoyed working on the property projects, learning about the construction process and dealing with the tradesmen. What’s more, I realised I had a flair for it.”
Property may have remained a lucrative side-line for Sarah but the recession and illness intervened. The mum-of-three was divorced and in 2011, began to suffer from constant headaches and even lost her sight for a period. After numerous tests, doctors discovered a growth in her brain stem that was wrapping itself around her nerves like an octopus. The type of tumour, which has only been found in a handful of people worldwide, also affects her respiratory system and she also suffered a relapse causing chemical meningitis and temporary hydrocephalus. She also has another rare complication the autoimmune condition myasthenia gravis.
She said: “I refuse to let my illness slow me down, and I’m fighting it every step of the way.
“When I was diagnosed, doctors thought I only had months to live but I’m living with the condition. It’s made me think about what I really want in life, and that was to start a business that deals with my love of working with property.
“Sarah Young Property Management brings together all my experience in the industry, combined with the attention to detail and the caring and passionate approach I used in my career in the health service.”
Aimed at upscale property owners, Sarah Young Property Management takes care of building, design and project management from sourcing supplies to refurbishment and dealing with tradesmen. The business also offers management services to landlords renting out high quality properties, and can organise staff for clients, such as cooks and waiters for dinner parties and events.
Sarah said: “I’m absolutely passionate about my new business. Sarah Young Property Services is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and now I’m channelling all my energies into it.”