Why is Critical Illness Cover invaluable?

‘It won’t happen to me!’ – That is what we all like to think when considering the possibility of being seriously ill.

Unfortunately, for some people life just happens and critical illnesses can happen unexpectedly. Our adviser, Chris Wilson, has kindly agreed to share his experience of when his mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and what impact this had on the family.

When did you find out your mum had breast cancer?

I was in the process of starting university and I remember my mum telling me in the kitchen the news nobody wants to hear… ‘Chris I have breast cancer.’ At that moment in time, you feel all sorts of emotions: anger in terms of ‘why us?,’ scared about the future, and also pretty helpless.

What impact did a critical illness diagnosis have on the family?

There are two things to consider from an emotional point of view. It was extremely difficult to watch my mum go through chemotherapy and have days that were really painful and be limited to how you could help. My mum, however, to her credit, was always in high spirits and telling us all she was going to be absolutely fine.

Financially, things were quite tough for a couple of years which is also the average recovery time for a critical illness. Because my mum had to stop working and being the sole earner in our household, we had to cut back on a lot of things.

Even though my parents had separated, we did have some support from my dad and also from my mum’s partner. However, there were also increased costs to consider. We had to take my mum to the hospital regularly for appointments and pay for parking etc. which all adds up. As a family, we did not have critical illness cover in place, and knowing what I know now, I very much want to share this experience to educate others. I’m aware that if we had something in place, a lump sum pay-out would have made all the difference to the family – both from a financial and emotional perspective.

Recovery from a critical illness

It has been 12 years since mum was diagnosed with cancer and thankfully it has never come back. Cancer is an awful disease and I’m aware that other people are not as fortunate. I’m glad for every day we have together and we are all so thankful for the brilliant work that the McMillan nurses did for my mum at the time.

Mum is now retired and is looking forward to having annual trips to New Zealand to visit her brother.

What advice would you give to others without Critical Illness Cover?

Being a serious illness survivor myself, I have always understood the importance of valuing your health and that you just never know what’s around the corner. On that basis, take a second and think about the following:

If you were to be diagnosed with a Critical Illness, what could the possible financial and emotional consequences be for you and your family? As yourself the following questions:

  1. Could my family cope with a massive reduction in income and an increase in hospital costs?
  2. Would we have the money to make adaptations to our home if required?
  3. Do you think having cover in place would be beneficial following diagnosis, as you would be given your own dedicated nurse who can help aid you in your recovery?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it is time to consider Critical Illness Cover.


If you’re interested in finding out more about anything that has been discussed above or if you have any questions relating to Critical Illness Cover, get in touch with our Financial Advisor, Chris Wilson, today either by email: CWilson@gilsongrayfinancial.co.uk or phone: 07557 343 588

You can also visit our Financial Services page here.

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