Life is a fragile thing

30 July 2018

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We can try to live each day to the full in the belief nothing can stop us… but then something happens that catches you completely off-guard.

The week before I started at Royal London didn’t quite go to plan - instead of preparing and calming my nerves, I was facing one of the worst weeks of my life.

Four words: Leukaemia and Lung Cancer.

Whether they’re directed at you, family or friends, their impact is devastating.  And they’d somehow managed to worm their way into my family. The Sunday before I was due to begin my new job, I received a phone call from my mum to say my uncle’s death was ‘imminent’ – he had lung cancer that’d spread so far there was nothing more they could do.

The very next day I received a phone call from my step-mum to say my sister in law – mother of a five month old and aged just 29 - had Leukaemia, a rare form that is usually only found in children.

By the Tuesday I was in pieces. On the Friday my uncle passed away.

Illnesses not only impact the person diagnosed but also the people around them. Partners often have to take time off work to care for children and their other half while they receive treatment. And the surrounding family is also affected, both emotionally and physically.

Before starting Royal London, in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have thought about Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection or Life Cover. The only time it came up was when we went to get our mortgage and it’s something we didn’t follow up.

But that week changed my outlook on protection.  It made me question how my fiancé would look after everything if something happened to me.  And how would I cope if something happened to him? We needed a plan in place to protect our future should one of us fall ill.

One of my two family members diagnosed survived that week. While my sister in-law’s prognosis is good, she has a very long road to recovery. She will no doubt have to take time off work, and treatment will have its ups and downs, but we’ll hopefully get a positive ending.

Now my question is how would your clients cope with a critical or terminal illness diagnosis? How would their families deal with the fallout? It’s not something anyone wants to think or talk about, but having the conversation can help to protect their future, should the worst happen.

If you’re looking for help to start the protection conversation, our marketing studio has a range of posters and sales aids with facts and figures to show your clients just how important having protection is. Here you can also find information about Helping Hand, which gives your clients, and their partner and children, access to a service that can provide emotional support through illness at no extra cost.

Life is full of ups and downs and nobody has a crystal ball but having protection in place will help your clients, and their loved ones, whatever the future holds.

About the author

Natalie Dewar

Natalie joined the Royal London Marketing team in May 2018 with 4 years’ experience in marketing and communications in the charity sector. Away from the office Natalie likes to try and conquer her fear of heights by rock climbing, it’s not going well.

Last updated: 30 Jul 2018
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The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0RL.