A WOMAN from York who has beaten cancer this year is now opening a new restaurant-bar in the city - in memory of her sister who died 10 years ago.

Charlie Hudson, 42, is due to open Charlie’s Pizzeria, a New York-style restaurant, as well as a Roaring 20s evening bar called the Hi Ho club.

Charlie had originally planned to open the venue in Feasegate in May last year - on the same date as her sister Cerys’ birthday - who she sadly lost to cancer 10 years ago.

“Cerys was five years older than me. Growing up we were close and loved going out together to eat and party,” said Charlie, who attended Fulford School with her sister.

However, the opening had to be put on hold due to Covid restrictions.

Charlie then planned to open in February this year - before receiving the news of her own breast cancer diagnosis.

Charlie said: “This was obviously devastating and after losing my sister to the same, the race was on to save my life.”

Charlie was quickly admitted to hospital for an operation to remove the tumour - which was successful and she got the “great news” that the disease had not spread.

After undergoing six months of chemotherapy, Charlie is now preparing to open up the pizzeria in her new business in the centre of York tomorrow - thanks to the “amazing” support of her family and friends.

Charlie added: “The whole thing is a true mixture of emotions. Ultimately sad and frustrating as it took this long, but I’m super grateful and blessed to have had such great support from family and friends - and predominately I’m so happy to be alive.

“For me, the place symbolises hope, life and love. When you’re given a second chance you grab it with both hands and make it succeed.

“Against all odds, we have done it.”

Despite the opening today, Charlie has now run out of funding to open her Hi Ho Club - and has launched an online donation page to help pay for stock, insurance an intruder alarm and the rest of the equipment needed for the full opening.

Charlie said: “I can’t afford to get a loan and I’m so close to getting it open. Failure is not an option, I need to get open and trading.”

Charlie added that she has already spent £90,000 before opening - and has fallen £10,000 short.

Charlie, who has worked in hospitality for many years, said: “I have always wanted to have my own premises. It has felt like a destiny of mine.

“This business isn’t just for me, its for the guests, its for the team.” Charlie has raised more than £2,000 of her target so far. To support her, visit: https://bit.ly/3DftHVy