This word was constantly mentioned during an interactive discussion expo for financial advisors that I recently attended. My mind drifted for a few seconds and my consciousness made me reminisce how 2015 made a huge imprint in my married life.

In sickness and in health: The author and his wife stay strong despite the odds

It was only three years ago when my girlfriend and I decided that it was time to settle down after seven happy years of knowing each other very well. Both of us were still in our mid-twenties when we tied the knot.

Late last year, my wife went for a check-up as she was experiencing heavy abnormal bleeding. The result, which came a few days after New Year’s Eve, shocked us to the highest extent. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer at 29 years old. At that moment, the weight of the world fell upon our shoulders. Deep sadness encompassed our hearts and minds knowing that the fear of the unknown had been magnified.

From there, it was all a snowball effect. We did countless hours of doctor’s appointments, follow-up gynecological procedures, major surgery, and medications that surely ate up a huge chunk of our savings. Because of the severity of the disease, it carried that devastating potential to wipe out everything we had saved up and worked hard for in years. Critical illness was indeed a serious health matter that required huge financial obligation.

It’s worth mentioning that a year and six months prior to her sickness, she was perfectly fine and healthy. With the guidance of a former college classmate who educated her on the importance of getting critical insurance while still young, she bought a Sun Flexilink insurance plan. It’s a variable universal life (VUL) plan that had life insurance coverage with an investment component. She opted to include health riders such as protection for critical illness which includes cancer as a covered benefit.

As a rookie financial advisor, my wife was my very first client to service. There was absolutely no way I could disappoint her. I did whatever it took to comply with the necessary requirements for critical illness claim. Without complaining, I did these crucial assignments: requested and patiently wait for hours for all her medical records to be released by the hospital, calmly stuck around the clinic for her attending physicians to promptly accomplish forms, did more than an hour of interview with a Sun Life investigating agent, communicated constantly with my unit manager and sales manager, and passed much needed paper works to Sun Life office for claims processing. Due to a two-year contestability clause, Sun Life had the right to investigate the case thoroughly. When the critical illness benefit was finally approved, we could not have been any happier that Sun Life fulfilled its promise and was not heedless to our need.

Currently, my wife is under very close monitoring for the next five years as we focus on her complete healing. Even with all these, we still feel blessed as she is currently back to work. We spend much of our time having as many dates as possible to try to live a normal life and be happy that we are still together.

Through this experience, I’d like to be an inspiration to others as I continue my mission of seeing as many young, married professionals, and entrepreneurs that are willing to be enlightened about the importance of being protected.

My dear friends, preparedness and our strong will to act on our decisions equip us in times of crisis.

There’s no better time to get protected than NOW.

Christopher Dane B. Sacares Christopher Dane B. Sacares

Christopher Dane B. Sacares

As a Sun Life Financial Advisor, Christopher spends his time educating young Filipino professionals with practical and achievable financial plans. He is also a dedicated electric guitar instrumentalist and a regular member of the Cebu Guitar Enthusiasts. You can reach him via christopherdane.b.sacares@sunlife.com.ph.