Alta van Zyl (68)
PLATINUM LIFE – INCREDIBLE!!!
The saying, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of” has never been so fitting in my life and when trying to describe my experience with Platinum Life. I want to share my story with anyone that will listen!
A few years ago, I had a routine mammogram done. It was a week filled with anxiety while I waited for the results of the biopsy. The sonar and the results confirmed that there was some dead tissue in my left breast but that it was nothing to worry about.
At some point, one of Platinum Life’s consultants had contacted me and convinced me that taking out a cancer policy was the right thing to do. The monthly premium was very reasonable and the service that I received from Platinum Life exceeded my expectations. Regular calls and surprises were the order of the day. I have never come across an insurance company that is so invested in their clients!
Last year I noticed small dimples on the skin of my left breast. My nipple was gradually retracting, and I struggled with the question looming in my mind: do I live with this uncertainty or do I schedule a mammogram? I started avoiding all breast cancer awareness campaigns and ignored the warnings… surely it can’t happen to me?
During the first few months of 2017, my husband was not in good health and our medical savings account had been depleted. As a result, my health came second, and I did not have the necessary tests done. We also did not have the finances to pay for the tests ourselves. Eventually the anxiety took hold of me, especially when I would try to sleep, and I made an appointment to have a mammogram done in March this year. I was scared…very scared! My worst fear was confirmed after Dr Stipp performed the sonar and two biopsies and the diagnosis was: the big “C”. My dear husband stood by me on this journey and went with me to the appointment with the oncologist, Dr Samuel Fourie. Dr Fourie referred me for a CT scan, scintigram and blood tests which confirmed the diagnosis. The results were as follows: cancer cells in the left breast, a growth on my liver and my gallbladder had to be examined as it seemed there was something on it that shouldn’t be there. Discovery registered me on the oncology programme immediately and all the costs involved would be paid for by this benefit.
The most difficult thing was to tell my children the news. The took it relatively well, and we began to pray, with all our faith placed in Our Creator. The oncologist put me on anti-hormone treatment and told me to see him in three months to determine effectiveness of the treatment.
I let Platinum Life know about my situation and within a few hours of sending the email, I received a response explain the claiming process. I filled the forms in as quickly as I could and sent the reports and results through. A few days later I received communication that my claim was successful and within a week the money had been paid into my account. I didn’t have to do any enquiries or send any additional documentation or information through. Everything was so easy! The money was a welcome relief; I managed to see to a few essentials and for the first time in months, I was able to sleep peacefully, knowing that my financial position had been taken care of -thanks to my Platinum Life policy!
Two months after my diagnosis, I received a huge surprise! Leandi Schoonees from Platinum Life contacted me. She wanted to know how my treatment was progressing and I could hear that she was genuinely concerned, it wasn’t just a courtesy call. She also wanted to know what my clothing and shoe size was! When I asked why she needed that information, she said she wanted to send me something small on behalf of Platinum Life. That was the understatement of the year!
A few days later a received a parcel by courier with the most wonderful, quality products which suited my tastes perfectly and must have been selected with the greatest care. The more I unpacked, the more surprised I was! I was overwhelmed and wanted to tell anyone that would listen that taking out a Platinum Life policy was definitely worth it and that everyone should have one!
At my three-month follow-up appointment, after a pelvic and upper body sonar, Dr Fourie shared the good news with me: the growth on my liver was nothing to worry about, the mark on my gallbladder was just a polyp and was quite common. There was no new drama to speak of. I have another appointment with Dr Fourie at the end of August, where he will decide if an operation is necessary.
Thank you to Leandi and all the wonderful people at Platinum Life that turned a difficult time in my life around and gave me an eye-opening experience like never before!
I recommend Platinum Life to everyone, at every opportunity I get! Please continue your good work- no one is quite like Platinum Life!
Collin Robinson (51)
Firstly, Collin had been putting off going for his prostate exam for a few years. I think he was scared to go because his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I finally made a deal with him that we should both go for our test, which happened in January 2016. When I phoned the doctor for the results all he could say is that Collin should go see an oncologist. I made an appointment and took the results with, not knowing what we had in our hands. The doctor looked at the results, did a few tests and told us that Collin should go for a biopsy. He went for the biopsy and in February 2016 he was diagnosed with a high-risk prostate cancer. Reality only kicked in when Collin was sitting in the car and fully realised what the doctor had told him. It was tough to grasp but we had to deal with it.
It took us about a week to call his family and mine together to tell them; it was a very sad and terrible experience. Everybody was in tears, but each family member has been so supportive and is praying for healing.
We went to our spiritual parents, who are our reverend and his wife, to give them the news; they prayed and anointed us both. They told us to be positive about the situation and not let it get us down. Three months after the biopsy the doctor told us that there were a few procedures that would be performed, because by then our medical aid had declined the robotic procedure. They did a prostate scraping around April 2016 and Collin had to stay in hospital for 2 to 3 days. That procedure went well but one week after it had been performed he had difficulties in passing urine. It was so bad that I had to rush him to hospital because he was bleeding profusely and couldn’t walk. He was hospitalised again for 3 days to drain the blockage. Then 3 to 4 months after the procedure he had to go for prostate brachytherapy where they implanted seeds into his prostate to kill the cancer cells. This procedure was also very tough on Collin because it had its own side effects, which affected him badly. The next procedure was only done six months later because the brachytherapy had a long recovery period. We then had to prepare mentally and physically for the next procedure which was the radiation.
The radiation went on for five weeks, from Monday to Friday. This procedure was tiring because of the driving up and down every day. The treatment went well but when the five weeks was over the side effects kicked in and he was sick again for the next two weeks. He is doing much better after the treatment, now we only see the doctor every three months. He also has to have his PSA test and hormone injection done every three months for the next two years.
Lastly, our experience with Platinum was smooth sailing, we never had any problems whatsoever. Everybody was very nice and helpful and that made our claim so easy. Thank you so much to everyone at Platinum Life for making Collin and I feel special, we are very humbled by your treatment.
Gemma Mills (10)
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Thank you, Platinum Life
As individuals we continuously strive to prepare a future for ourselves that will protect us from harm and suffering. We take out all sorts of insurance policies in case we are faced with loss and disease that can affect our future. I had taken out a Platinum Life Cancer Policy a number of years ago. I was afraid that I may develop breast cancer and thought it was a logical and practical decision. A friend had referred me and they had contacted me to discuss a policy. I remember at the time when I received the policy in the mail, that it was a very personalised engagement they had with me as a new client. They went out of their way to make me feel like part of the Platinum Life family. I also remember that I stopped the policy at a time when I was struggling financially. Sometime after that I received a call from Platinum Life again and they persuaded me to take out another policy, this time paying a smaller premium than before. They had not forgotten about me. I had taken out a Platinum Life Cancer Policy as I was afraid that I may develop breast cancer and thought it was a logical and practical decision. In the meantime, I forgot that my minor children are also covered.
I am divorced. My ex-husband lost his business of ten years about 2 years ago. I was very unfortunate to be retrenched in July 2016, a few months before my youngest daughter, 9-year-old Gemma, was diagnosed in December 2016. Gemma was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia which is a cancer that invades the blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets) and bone marrow and reduces the body’s ability to prevent bleeding, fight even basic infections and deliver oxygen to the rest of the organs. While Gemma was sick occasionally, we did not expect anything was wrong as school going children are prone to frequent infections. They also go through growing pains and have general anxiety about schoolwork. As a grade 3 scholar, Gemma had bouts of eczema, headaches, viral infections, tummy problems, ENT symptoms and general fatigue. We tested her for diabetes but this came back negative and we were planning to test her for allergies too. When her pallor changed considerably, we thought she was anaemic due to a lack of iron. A quick pharmacy visit and finger prick showed dangerously low blood levels. We rushed her to the hospital on 26 December. Two days later she was diagnosed with cancer, and our life as we knew it changed forever in an instant. As a family, we were totally devastated and caught off guard by all that is required to fight this debilitating illness. With only a basic hospital plan in place at the time of diagnosis (due to lack of income), her medical treatment and care had already taken the wind out of our sails financially. The journey has been traumatic for us as a family. We did not foresee the impact that cancer would have emotionally and financially. The experience has changed all of us, taught us patience, made us anxious, vulnerable and humble. It is a bitter reality knowing that Gemma has always been anxious about visiting the doctor, needles, syringes and any medication she required always involved a struggle and having to bribe her to take it. Now this brave but utterly vulnerable and scared little girl had to endure surgery to insert a portal in her chest for the administration of chemotherapy, regular blood transfusions, lumbar taps to extract spinal fluid, bone marrow biopsies, muscle injections, regular and painful prodding of needles to find veins in her chest, arms and feet. The maximum number of pills she must swallow each day is 32. These consist of chemo medication, antibiotics as well as pills to manage the various traumatic side effects experienced as a direct result of chemotherapy. Gemma has spent the last 6 months between Red Cross hospital in Cape Town and our home, with limited and controlled contact with others. We have also had to completely sanitise our home and live under “quarantine” when she has had no immunity. We have had to ensure our own health and wellbeing as a family to ensure that we do not transfer any germs or infection to her. Gemma’s diet needs to be nutritious and healthy. She is required to take supplements daily to counter the long-term effects of chemotherapy. Gemma requires counselling and other forms of supplementary treatment to manage pain, anxiety, depression and other behavioural and cancer-related side effects and challenges. None of these are covered by a basic hospital plan. In fact, even if you have comprehensive medical cover there are so many reasons you need additional cash to cover your family when one member suffers a from life-threatening disease.
Platinum Life saved us from further emotional and financial devastation. Due to our ailing financial position, they looked after us when we needed it most. We received a lump sum for Gemma shortly after she was diagnosed. At the time this was an unexpected surprise as I had not even realised my children were covered as well. One does not always look at the small print simply because you don’t expect cancer to happen to your minor children and you often forget what you sign for initially. The payment was swift and well received as we had nothing else at the time to cover all the additional extras that go with only having a hospital plan. This is all one normally expects from your insurer when you have a policy, to receive a lump sum. However, Platinum Life did not stop there. During our cancer journey they sent Gemma a box of goodies with games, clothes and wonderful gifts. In addition, a few weeks later we received a Pick n Pay voucher to the value of almost R5000. This helped us tremendously at a time when we did not have the courage to request help from others. Leandi Schoonees from Platinum Life has called me on more than one occasion to check how we are doing as a family. This is exactly what families need when a life-threatening disease has been diagnosed. Platinum Life understands what is required. They are genuine and transparent. They are not an insurance company who has a cold relationship with you that is based on the exchange of a benefit. Normally you pay and cover is provided. Instead with Platinum Life we pay and they provide so much more. We met another family whose 13-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer a month before our daughter. They received the same amazing treatment and cover with Platinum Life. This is an insurer who goes the extra mile. They are consistent, have integrity and are accountable to the families who have entrusted them with their premiums.
All we want now is for our daughter, a remarkable little human being who is loved by so many, to be happy again. She misses school, her friends and she just wishes to be a normal little girl with a normal life. When she grows up she wants to be an actress and a director. She loves to write. She wants to own her own coffee shop with free wi-fi. We want to ensure that she has every chance to do so. We want to thank Platinum Life for helping us have so many positive experiences during our journey. We will continue to pay our premiums with love, light and gratitude to Platinum Life!
Warm Regards from Gemma Mills and family
Joyce Magxaka (56)
Platinum Life has made my life easier. As one of the policy holders, I was paid out an amount of money, after completing the claim forms, which I could use to settle my accounts.
Sometime in June I received a gift parcel from Platinum Life with amazing winter gifts which were very beneficial to me because they accommodated the winter season. The gifts included a pair of slippers, a beautiful set of pyjamas and many more items.
I have no words to describe how grateful I am for what Platinum Life has done for me and my family. Many people have benefited from this cover financially. I was able to pay my debts knowing that I am already covered and now I can share my testimony because I have experienced it all.
The word of the Lord in the book of Psalm 23:4 says; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”.
Laetitia Nienaber (62)
There is one thing that is certain in life, and that is constant change. Change can bring surprises, or change can bring shock. Both have affected my husband and I recently.
Firstly, I would like to thank Platinum Life for the outstanding service, financial assistance and the range of practical and essential gifts that I received. It was a pleasant surprise after all the shock that I had been through.
I never thought I would be let go by my company, and then days later hear that my husband had renal cancer that had spread. We continued to live our lives with positivity and drove from Polokwane to Pretoria each month for my husband’s appointments with the oncologist.
In February 2017 I felt a lump in my breast and went to see the doctor. I had a biopsy and was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to my liver. I accepted it and went for chemo. The first three sessions were manageable, but I lost my hair and became very tired. My fourth session was completely different – my hands were sore, and my skin had developed a reaction. I couldn’t touch anything, which was extremely frustrating as I constantly had to ask for assistance. I also experienced bouts of fever, and my eyes would water incessantly.
During this time my husband and I moved from Polokwane to Montana in Pretoria, to be near the oncologist and my family.
We have experienced unfortunate events, but thanks to Platinum Life we have also had wonderful surprises.
We appreciate all your selfless help and support.
Radha Naik (53)
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
Dear Platinum Life Family,
I want to thank all the Platinum Life staff, especially Leandi, for the kindness and support I received during the last few months. Leandi went out of her way to make sure I was alright after my radical hysterectomy and when I was diagnosed with Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma. She even called to hear how my recovery was. A special thank you also goes to Shireen and Maggie for informing me of the upgrades and how they can benefit me in the future. Once I submitted my claim I was updated every step of the way.
The unexpected gifts I received were a wonderful surprise. Leandi, I must once again thank you for the special words of encouragement and love I received when hearing your voice. You guys at Platinum Life really make me feel as if I am part of the family.
Being told you have cancer is one of the worst experiences of your life. I cannot thank Platinum Life, my husband, my children, sisters and family enough for the love, care and encouragement I received during this trying time in my life.
Once again, thank you all.