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Single Mum Wendy’s symptoms started when she slowly started losing interest in eating at the beginning of 2014.

“I got on with life as usual but it was only when my sister asked me how I had lost so much weight that I realised with a start that I had dropped two stone in the last 3 months.

“After the initial feelings of euphoria, I looked back and came to understand that my usual healthy appetite had disappeared, and my bowel movements had become unpredictable and erratic. I was skipping meals without realising it and when I made a concerted effort to eat I found food hard work, just picking at my food and shuffling it around my plate.  It was time to visit my GP.

“Numerous tests later, I was diagnosed with the early stages of bowel cancer. Luckily, it had been diagnosed and caught in the early stages. I however had to take lots of time off work to go through tests, which led to invasive biopsies and finally chemotherapy. My life had taken a complete U-turn without warning.

“My Mum was my rock. She moved into my flat and took charge of the kids. She treated me like her little girl and cared for me during my worst moments. I worked for a small but busy graphic design company and my unreliability took its toll. My boss had no choice but to take someone else on to replace me and after a relatively generous amount of sick pay,  I was out of a job.

“It’s not always the stress of being unwell that breaks you. It’s the chain reaction of events that hit you as a consequence of your illness that can totally wreck your life. When you’re seriously poorly, you want life to just pause for a moment and wait for you to get better, but it doesn’t work like that. Whilst writhing in agony on my sick-bed, I also had to contend with the consequences of no income, which meant nasty red letters and the miserable prospect of being chucked out of my home through mortgage arrears. My life was spiraling out of control right in front of my eyes. All the fight left me and the prospect of death begun to look like a blessing. My Mum, on her meagre pension could do nothing but pray.

“After months of misery, I received a phone call from my financial adviser asking why my personal pension had fallen into arrears. I wept as I told him my story. After I had finished pouring my heart out, there was a long pause and then he said words I will never forget:” “I think you might have critical illness cover. Let me check it out and get back to you.”

“He called the next day and told me that I had been paying £55 a month for life and critical illness cover.  This would pay off my mortgage on diagnosis of a specified critical illness such as cancer. The policy was in arrears but it was still valid and I could claim! Best of all, I didn’t have to die to get the money! I laughed for the first time in months and even jumped out of bed to do a little dance!

“After completing a claim form, the insurance company paid off my mortgage completely and left me with enough to go on a recovery holiday.

“I have now completely recovered. The holiday made all the difference. I take the credit for taking out a life and critical illness policy but my Mum firmly believes that her prayers were answered.  Either way, the worst is behind me and I’m on my way to much better things. Insurance can really be a joy when you need it!”


This is a true auto-biography from a Sterling & Law client. Her name has been changed for privacy reasons. Thank you for sharing your story, “Wendy”


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