Music lovers have been really saddened lately by the passing of two Australian icons, Olivia Newton John and Judith Durham. A third Australian music legend, John Farnham, recently underwent surgery for cancer. It makes us all stop and think.
As many people know, Olivia Newton John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 at the age of 44. She was treated successfully for the illness three times – in 1992, 2013 and 2018. Her early experience of illness led her to establish the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute, which is based in Melbourne and works in conjunction with Austin Health. She made sure her own experience had a positive impact for many other people.
Perhaps fewer people knew that Judith Durham had a lifelong battle with a lung disease known as bronchiectasis. This condition developed after Judith had a childhood experience of measles – something that we thankfully vaccinate children against these days.
Following on from the untimely passing of Shane Warne, who experienced a sudden heart attack. these ladies’ deaths tend to focus our minds on our own health and wellbeing. While both Olivia and Judith were in their 70s when they died, the illnesses that took their lives onset much earlier in their lives. In Olivia’s case, she succumbed to what is actually the second most common form of cancer in Australia, and the most common for women. (Men getting prostate cancer is the most common cancer experience, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).
Hopefully, these events encourage us all to live a little healthier and hold our loved ones a little closer. But the fact remains that things like cancer tend not to discriminate – they can affect people in the prime of their life. So, when events like this occur, they also focus our minds on the need for personal insurances to make sure that a physical calamity does not become an economic one as well.
To take Olivia’s experience, she was first diagnosed at the age of 44. For most of us, this is a time of life when we have many and varied responsibilities – family (both older and younger) and work being the two standouts. A decent trauma insurance policy would provide financial certainty if a cancer diagnosis causes us to take time away from our responsibilities to seek treatment and recover. If the cancer was more rigorous, or we experienced an event like the one that took Shane’s life, then life cover would make sure our loved ones are looked after during and after their period of grief.
The thing about life insurances is that they need to be in place before the insured event happens. If you have already been diagnosed with cancer, for example, it becomes hard to insure for it. This is why the time to insure yourself is while you are healthy. For most people, though, being healthy means that we may not even think about the possibility that things might go wrong. But as the deaths of these prominent Australians show, things like cancer can happen to us all.
That’s why, if you have not already, we encourage you to make a time to talk to us about what would happen to you and your family if, like Olivia, Judith or Shane, you experience a sudden an unexpected health event.