Kylie is exception who proves the rule

About a year ago one of the most successful and recognisable stars of the past decade was diagnosed with a disease that strikes over 1.2 million people every year. In May 2005, along with an estimated 3,500 women in the UK, Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It should come as no surprise that celebrities are just as susceptible to cancer as the rest of us. After all, one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. The difference with the diagnosis of someone in the public eye is the publicity that comes with it.

What followed Kylie’s diagnosis was a surge in the number of young women who started to check themselves and subsequently made appointments with their GPs on finding suspicious lumps.

Arguably, Kylie’s case has done more to raise awareness of the prevalence of breast cancer than have many costly marketing campaigns.

Because of this, whatever the age and sex of your clients, it’s more than likely that they are aware of Kylie and her diagnosis. Having read the press they’re also probably aware of the repercussions this diagnosis had on the life of someone who had the world at her feet.

Remember, Kylie had to give up work for 12 months during her treatment and she also temporarily relocated from her home in London to stay with her family in Melbourne during her treatment and recuperation.

The diagnosis brought home to many people that critical illnesses have no respect when it comes to who they target and when. Diagnosis of a critical illness for anyone is devastating but what Kylie didn’t have to worry about (and what it’s worth reminding your clients about) was money. She was able to afford to give up work for a year and spend time with her family to concentrate on her recovery.

She didn’t have to worry about paying the mortgage, the bills or outstanding debts when she was out of work. She was able to take time to get better.

According to her doctors, Kylie is now cancer-free. You have to wonder whether the fact that she didn’t have any of the financial worries that are so often associated with a critical illness went some way to help in her return to good health.

Kylie’s personal circumstances illustrate two things – that a critical illness can strike anyone at any time and that when it does being financially secure allows people to concentrate on what they should be doing – recovering.

It’s unlikely that many of the 3,500 women also diagnosed with breast cancer in May last year had access to Kylie’s kind of wealth and we can only hope they were lucky enough to have previously visited advisers who recommended they took out critical illness policies.

The figures are from January 1 to the end of June