STUDENT Farzana Khan has been hailed as an inspiration after beating breast cancer – and going back to school.
The 38-year-old mum-of-three, from Temple Park, South Shields, had always wanted to study beauty therapy since she was a child in Birmingham, but said she was not allowed to because of her religion.
Three years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer, which made her realise life was too short for regrets.
With the help of husband Jamil, 38, Mrs Khan enrolled at South Tyneside College, studying level two in beauty therapy.
Now, after receiving 100 per cent in her final exam, she’s starting her second year, and is well on the way to achieving her dream of running her own business.
Mrs Khan, who moved to South Shields about five years ago, said: “Once I finished school, my father wouldn’t allow me to continue in education, as it was against his beliefs as a Muslim.
“At the time I accepted this, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my husband urged me to follow my dream when I recovered, as we both realised life is too short.
“I was very worried about coming back into education at 38, but those thoughts soon disappeared as everyone was so friendly, and the staff work extremely hard to ensure we get the best experience.
“It truly is the best place to study. I have just enrolled on my level three for this year, and when I finish I want to open my own business and, hopefully, employ some students from South Tyneside College.”
Principal Lindsey Whiterod said: “To hear stories like Farzana’s is truly heart-warming.
“She is an example of what you can achieve as a mature student, and is somebody who has achieved despite her health problems.
“She is an inspiration to us all, and we will continue to support her through her level 3 qualification and beyond.”