Prostate Cancer (Age 44)
Hearing the words “You have cancer” was definitely a shock and brought up a range of emotions, from fear to anxiety, and the question of “What now?” What added to this was that my twin brother was going through the same process as he was also diagnosed a week later!
I never expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially at the age of 44, so it was quite a lot to process. The first person I told was my wife and she was also in shock. She was totally supportive and we had to decide on how we approach this challenge going forward.
I decided that I was going to be mentally tough and ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE as this was the best approach to beating cancer. That night we called our family and informed them of the news. Naturally this was received with a lot of shock and tears. I reiterated that this was going to be a tough journey but that I was ready to fight and that it was not going to get the better of me. My wife and family have been amazing throughout this journey, giving total support and remaining positive at all times.
I met with the oncologist the following week and he went through the options available to me with the key focus on a cure. The option I decided to go for was brachytherapy, whereby radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate and ultimately, they cure the cancer. I subsequently booked my surgery for the end of August.
Being diagnosed with a dread disease prompted us to review our policies to see what cover we had in place. My wife, being a client of Platinum Life for about 8 years, had fortunately included me in her cover. We claimed and within a 10 days Platinum Life settled the claim with no issues raised at all. My next interaction with them was prior to my surgery where I received a call from Leandi Schoonees from Platinum Life. She asked me a few questions and wished me well for the surgery. Three days before going in for the operation, I received a really pleasant surprise with a very thoughtful gift from Platinum Life. Not only were they efficient in their claims process but showed care and consideration throughout.
The surgery went well and I now need to be monitored to see that the procedure is working. I still have to go for scans and will need to do PSA tests but the prognosis is positive. I still have a way to go but I’m sure the results from my test will show that this can be beaten…
Ovarian Cancer (Age 46)
It was such a shock for us as a family, and it put tremendous strain on us financially and emotionally. At that stage neither my husband nor I had medical aid and I was admitted to two public hospitals. However, I was billed according to my husband’s salary and the amounts ran into thousands of Rands.
In 2017 I was struggling financially and called Platinum Life to cancel my policy to free up some cash but Chene Kruger advised me to keep the policy. This was the best decision I could have made as the policy assisted us in paying all the hospital bills and covered my car repayments and other debt I had. The policy pay out gave us financial freedom to pay off most of my debt and to concentrate on my chemotherapy treatments which ended on 10 January 2019. These treatments costs around R1 500 per session but we did not have to worry about paying for this.
I can only thank Platinum Life for assisting us through this difficult journey and for my policy enabling us to concentrate on my journey to survive and beat cancer without the financial worries. Saying “Yes” to this policy in 2010 and deciding to keep the policy in 2017 was the best decision I could have made. When I told my husband that I didn’t cancel the policy in 2017 he told everyone, “ I have a very clever wife; she did not plan to have cancer but she did plan for just in case she might ever have it”.
Enver van Doorsen
Genito-Urinary Cancer (Age 60)
Three months after I retired late last year, I started experiencing abnormal symptoms where I had severe back pain and I was passing blood through my urine. I subsequently went to see my GP, who then prescribed some antibiotics, but the back pain and blood had not subsided, and my GP recommended that I see a urologist. I did this two days into the new year, and after multiple tests, the urologist recommended a biopsy. A few days later, upon going in for what was supposed to be a simple procedure, the doctor ended up cutting into my bladder. I was informed that I had bladder cancer which had spread to more than 80% of my bladder.
The saying that cancer creeps up on you rang true for me in that moment. I had barely been on retirement and was planning to enjoy the rest of my golden years with my wife – it was the worst news I could have received. I had never been sick a day in my life apart from the odd cold or flu here and there and then to be confronted with something that could potentially shorten my lifespan in a matter of months was devastating to say the least. To say my family was shocked would be an understatement. I was given two options, the doctor could either remove the bladder completely and I would live with a urine bag for the rest of my life or he could attempt to cut out all of the cancer and thereafter I would receive injections each week for 6 weeks to prevent the cancer from returning. I opted for the latter and once again underwent surgery. The doctor was confident that he had removed everything. My spirits lifted and I was able to see a future with my wife, kids and grandkids again.
There was a 6 week waiting period post-op to ensure that it was gone for good. My anxiety returned as the time drew nearer for me to have the scope done. Unfortunately, it was not good news. The monster had returned and was more aggressive. My heart sank, my resolve crumbled and I resigned myself to the fact that I was ready for God to take me.
This had a major effect on my family. All this time they had been positive and now they too were faced with a future without me. I had no choice now; I had to try and prolong my life so the bladder had to go. This in itself was a life-changing decision. Imagine being so independent and then having to rely on your family for something this traumatic. The operation was 4 hours long and extremely dangerous. There was no guarantee that I would survive the surgery, but by the grace of God, I pulled through and was granted another opportunity to spend my life with my family.
Fortunately, my wife had the foresight to add me to her Platinum Dread Disease cover policy and we were in a position to submit a claim. My son, who is a financial adviser, handled all the paperwork and Platinum was extremely efficient, kind and considerate in dealing with my claim which was paid out. When you’re on retirement, medical aid becomes very expensive and when you’re diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the medication alone can deplete your medical aid. The pay out from Platinum has taken a huge burden off of our shoulders and we are now in a position to ensure that our medical bills are taken care of and we can pay for anything not covered by the medical aid.
I have been living with a cystectomy for two months now and in all honesty, it has not been easy. My quality of life has been affected and I am not able to do all the things I was previously able to. I’m taking it one day at a time and with my faith in God and the love and support of my family I know my quality of life will improve and I will get to see my grandkids grow up.
My wife has especially been a pillar of strength and has kept me grounded when I feel like giving up. The thing with a disease like this is that it doesn’t just happen to an individual, it happens to a family as a whole.
Ewing Sarcoma (Age 10)
On 25 November 2017 my little girl told her daddy that she was seeing a black spot in her right eye. He told me about it and I made an appointment with the eye specialist.
Somehow, throughout all the drama and shock, I remembered that I had a Platinum Life policy and I believed that they would pay out so we could cover the money we had already paid out of pocket as our medical aid had already been depleted.
It was Christmas and we wanted to keep everything as normal as possible for both of our children. Initially we were told that we could expect the pay-out late January but then on 21 December we received the message that the money had been paid into my account. What a relief! We could buy Christmas gifts for the kids and although it was only the four of us, we could still make the best of the day. Logan, our youngest, was also affected by the whole situation because he loves his sister so much. He tried his best to be brave, even though he could barely see her when she was admitted for infections or chemo.
Every time someone says something negative about Platinum Life I go out of my way to correct them. I could not have asked for better. I tell everyone I know that if Platinum Life calls you that you should take out the policy because it can only help you when you least expect it. Never in a million years did I think that I would need my policy – especially not for one of my children.
Khyla’s cancer is not hereditary nor is it genetic. Her cancer was activated by a virus in the form of the mumps. We were so shocked because she had lost her vision 3 weeks before and was diagnosed with sinusitis. It happens when you least expect it. Listen when your child tells you that something is wrong.
Edna G Majozi
Cervical Cancer (Age 45)
I had a pap smear last year and the results came back abnormal. I then had follow-up tests and found out that I have stage 3 cervical cancer. I took medical aid cover in 2016, but when I needed to go for further tests my medical aid did not want to pay. They stated that I did not disclose the abnormality of my pap smear which resulted in my cover being cancelled.
I contacted Platinum Life after I remembered that I have a policy with them. They sent me forms to fill in which I then returned. To my surprise I received a call to let me know that I would be paid for the claims I had submitted. It brought tears to my eyes as I was stuck and didn’t know what to do. The money was paid in and I requested a quote from my doctor as he told me that I needed to remove the cancer cells before they spread. The quote came to R46 000 to be admitted to hospital and thanks to Platinum Life I could cover that amount. The cells were removed, and I had to see my specialist every 2 weeks to check that there were no complications. That was not cheap as every visit cost R1 250. I was then referred to an oncologist who performed the chemo. I had to do more test to see that all was in order and was booked in for a biopsy, X-rays and an ultrasound which all came to R 18 500.
When the results came back they shocked us all, including the doctor, as they picked up that I had cancer in my liver. The shock came about as this was a different cancer that was not the same as the cervical cancer.
Thank you for the gifts I received from Platinum Life, they really helped a lot. God bless you!
Thank you to Platinum Life for the lives that you have saved and those you will save in the future.
Breast Cancer (Age 30)
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017. At the age of 30 – yes, 30! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine this happening to me. I mean at 30 you think you are untouchable; you think cancer happens to someone your mom’s age.
I felt a small lump in my left breast. I went to my GP, at my husband’s request, who then sent me for a sonar. According to them it was thickened breast tissue. The lump became sore, bigger and fragile. We had just moved so I went to our new GP, who said it was an infection in the breast tissue and gave me antibiotics. In the months following this I went through a really tough time at work. It was a really stressful and busy period so the ever-growing and painful lump was the last thing on my mind.
During July and August, I lost over 20 kg. At this stage my husband was obviously sick with worry, but whenever he begged me to go to the doctor I kept saying that there is nothing to worry about as it was only stress.
After a lot of begging and serious nagging he persuaded me. As I was a healthy 30-year-old young woman the doctor did every test she could think of, she tested me for HIV, TB, thyroid and more. All the tests came back negative, the only two tests remaining was an X-ray of my chest and a sonar of my breast. I was sitting at work one day when something told me to go get the tests over and done with, even if it was just to prove to everyone that there is nothing wrong with me and that it really was just stress. I made the appointment without telling my husband or my family.
The doctor said that he hadn’t seen anything like it and that he was taking me to go for a mammogram.
As you can imagine it was absolutely excruciating – the lump now roughly the size of my fist, being squashed between those plates.
I took out a policy at Platinum Life for female cancers when I was 21. Every year I nearly cancelled it as you just never have enough money to cover everything, but every time I got to this point my husband always told me not to because you never know what could happen. I could now pay off a loan, all my accounts and managed to pay all the outstanding doctors’ accounts at that stage. I would strongly recommend that all women have a policy like this in place as you never know what could happen.
As mentioned, I paid all my debt off after receiving a pay out from Platinum Life, even though the doctors’ bills are stacking up again. I am forever grateful for what Platinum Life has done for me.