When Lisa Ashton was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer, she was only 35 years old.
At the time, she was raising a young family, in a new home with her husband two children and a foster child. The emotional trauma of a cancer diagnosis in a family is distressing enough without having to deal with the financial challenges. Following her diagnosis, Lisa gained a new appreciation for her financial adviser, Jaco Joubert.
Lisa and Jaco reviewed her financial situation in 2004. He advised her to increase her life cover and medical aid benefits and in March 2005, Lisa’s dread disease policy became active. The very next year in March 2006, 17 days before Lisa’s birthday, she called her financial adviser again.
Lisa says, “After my diagnosis, one of the first people I called after speaking to my family was Jaco. I wanted to know if I was covered. He informed me that not only do I have the right medical cover in place, I also had a dread disease policy with Liberty.”
According to Lisa, Jaco handled everything to do with her claims with limited interaction required from her. This gave her the time to focus on fighting cancer, dealing with the treatments and looking after her family.
During this time, the doctors found that oestrogen was fuelling the growth of the cancer and Lisa immediately started undergoing treatment to remove all the oestrogen from her body. She says, “Medically it was traumatic for me. Constant doctor’s visits, the injections with thick needles and Tamoxifin . I became post-menopausal, had hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Later that year also had a hysterectomy and my ovaries removed”
However, Lisa’s battle with cancer didn’t stop there. Five years later she went for a check up only to find that the cancer had returned, this time in her rib bones. Lisa was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. “Because I had the right level of dread disease cover in place, when I was first diagnosed, Liberty paid out 50% of my cover. When I was diagnosed the second time, the rest of the policy was paid out to me.”
Today, nearly 13 years after starting her battle with cancer, Lisa is cancer free. Even though her cancer benefits are now depleted, Lisa still has dread disease cover in place. That means that if she is diagnosed with a heart condition or any other dread disease, she will receive the necessary benefits.
Her financial adviser also made sure that she has the right medical aid benefits in place. In the unlikely event that the cancer does return, Lisa’s medical bills will still be covered.
“I think it is important to tell this story because many people don’t understand the valuable role financial adviser’s play. My adviser has my best interests at heart and made sure that I could deal with this dread disease and take care of my family,” says Lisa.
Lisa is not alone in her battle with cancer. According to Liberty’s Claim Statistics for 2016, cancer was the main cause for claims during the year under review. The most common type of cancer for women was breast cancer and for men it was prostate cancer.
Johan Minnie, Group Executive for Sales, Distribution & Bancassurance at Liberty says “Behind the claim statistics, there are real people with a real need for quality financial guidance. Financial Advisers play a pivotal role in helping people manage their money, prepare for life’s challenges and most importantly, achieve their long-term financial goals.”
He says that Lisa’s story is a demonstration of how a relationship with an adviser saved the life of a young woman whose life was turned upside down by this life changing event.
“Ensure that you check in with your adviser as often as you can,” says Minnie.