Cancer Care

Discovery Life became my rock star

December 1, 2015 Word for Word Media 0Comment

Juliet Drozdz had just turned 40 when she received the devastating news from her doctor that she had a brain tumour. “My life came to a complete halt. In every way,” Juliet recalls. 

The days leading up to her diagnosis are still fresh in her mind. “I was on holiday in New York and my eyes were very watery. I remember the bright lights of Times Square really bugged me, so much so that I had to return to my hotel and lie in a dark room to recover.” 

Upon her return to South Africa, Juliet went to visit an optometrist who was immediately concerned and referred her to a doctor. “I had been having ongoing pins and needles on the left side of my face but I just thought it was from all the gym training I was doing at the time,” she adds. 

Following a physical examination, though, Juliet’s doctor noticed a lump at the back of her neck. She was booked in for an MRI scan that same day and the results soon came in that she had a tumour. 

A car accident in 2008 had Juliet re-evaluating her medical aid and life insurance policies. “It was a wakeup call that I needed to prioritise my financial wellness in addition to living a healthy life.” Even though she had always considered herself a very healthy person, she had chosen to take out a salary protection plan with Discovery Life called the Income Continuation Benefit. 

“Looking back now,” she stresses, “It was one of the best decisions of my life.” 

“When I was told about the tumour, I was scared. It’s not something that anyone ever wants to hear. I was working in Tanzania at the time but I had to move back to my mother’s house in Pretoria immediately.” 

The tumour was benign but it still needed to be removed. “I was lucky to only need radiation; not chemotherapy.” After the radiation, Juliet was booked in for surgery to remove the tumour. “It turned out that I had two tumours so they needed to cut in front of and behind my head to remove them.” 

“Discovery Health and Discovery Life became my rock stars – they were by my side all the way and I can’t stress enough how crucial this support was. I am living proof that life insurance products like a salary protection plan are important. The financial help from Discovery Life was just as life-saving as the medical help I got from Discovery Health.” 

According to Gareth Friedlander from Discovery Life, “Income protection ensures that you do not have a shortfall in cash flow in the event of illness, injury, or disability. It is especially important to consider this if you have others who depend on you for financial support.” 

Juliet’s advice is to take life insurance policies seriously and not put them off. “You have no idea what stress is taken away from not having to worry about where the money is going to come from when having to deal with a traumatic event in your life,” Juliet emphasises, “Medical care and salary protection is 

a must.” 

“Up until my diagnosis, I loved to travel, loved hiking and mountain biking, and just being outdoors. When something of this magnitude happens in your life, you can’t help but become a burden on your loved ones. In my case, I moved back in with my mother who had to help take care of me. Because I had the Income Continuation Benefit through Discovery Life, I didn’t have to place an additional burden on my mom: the financial.” 

“My recovery process was difficult. One minute I wanted to die, one minute I’d be laughing. I lost friends, I became completely dependent on people to get me around, it was a journey that taught me about patience, and it brought me closer to my religious beliefs so that helped me a lot too.” 

It has been two years since her surgery and Juliet is still on the path to full recovery. “I lost my sight in one eye so I’m now partially blind, but I am surprisingly well and just grateful for my second chance.” 

For more information about the Income Continuation Benefit offered through Discovery Life email [email protected]. 

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