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Marcel's story

Diagnosis and treatment deliver positive outlook on life

In October last year Marcel Skinner was looking forward to some quality family time with a campervan trip around the South Island. With a wife, two young children, and a role in sales for a commercial catering equipment company, life was busy. The upcoming holiday was set to deliver what every family relishes – precious time together enjoying the great Kiwi outdoors.

But on October 11, Marcel discovered a lump in his groin which had appeared from nowhere. He knew he needed to get it checked out immediately.

In the anxious days that followed, Marcel and his family awaited the results which could change their life forever.

After a week or so Marcel received the devastating diagnosis of follicular lymphoma cancer.

His radiation treatment was delayed to allow the family to continue with the holiday they were all looking forward to. They walked the Abel Tasman Track for four days and treasured their time travelling the South Island in a campervan. But at the same time, a roller coaster of emotions ensued. 

“The early days after diagnosis are the hardest as you don’t know how serious it will be. You hear extreme cases where some people are diagnosed one week, and sadly gone the next,” says Marcel.

A number of years ago Marcel had worked as an insurance adviser and had always had a good understanding of the importance of having cover in place for illness, trauma or life. Three years ago he had taken out trauma and life insurance policies with Fidelity Life.

“Once the lump was confirmed as cancer, I knew that I needed to contact Fidelity Life to start the ball rolling on a claim. The staff were very helpful and I was sent out the required paperwork to complete. It took a few weeks to get the information together and the necessary documents filled out by my doctor. I was pleasantly surprised when the claim was paid into my bank account about a week after emailing the completed forms.

“It’s a frightening time but I was reassured knowing I had insurance in place so that if the worst was to happen there would be some financial help for my wife and kids. The payment under my trauma policy has meant I can concentrate on getting better without the financial pressures associated with being off work,” adds Marcel.

“You don’t realise the amount of time off work you require to fight back. For a while it seemed like I had a hospital or specialist appointment every day.”

Marcel’s trauma cover, called Trauma Multi, also offers reassurance for the future. Traditionally trauma insurance sees a lump sum paid and while new trauma cover can be taken out after a claim, it requires a new health review which may be influenced by the illness suffered; therefore affecting future insurability.

But under Fidelity Life’s Trauma Multi cover, policyholders are covered for up to five different and unrelated trauma events – without the need for a health review after each claim.

“So best of all I am still covered for four more trauma events which gives me the peace of mind going forward that we will have the financial support there if required again.”

With surgery to remove the lymph node and radiation therapy now behind him, Marcel and his family are focused on a positive future.

“I am very lucky and my prognosis is good. We’re putting the last few months behind us and now planning a family holiday overseas using some of the money from my claim.”

And after his experience, Marcel offers some precious advice. “Be positive and enjoy your time with friends and family!”

Photo: With a good prognosis and overseas family holiday in the planning, Marcel is enjoying a positive new outlook for the future.