A routine visit to the GP turned the lives of Jane* and her husband David* upside down.
There were no warnings or symptoms out of the ordinary, but David was quickly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Little did he know, his health was rapidly declining and the cancer had already spread to his bones.
Jane, who works for a large tour operator, said the couple were devastated. But the news was made harder to swallow by the fact that if David had had a simple blood test sooner, the cancer would have been curable. David was 63, but the routine test for men is recommended from the age of 65.
'By far the hardest thing was telling our three children,' Jane said.
David quickly became too sick to work and Jane didn't want leave her husband's side. The stress was mounting, and Jane was forced to take sick leave.
With the significant loss of income, the couple's finances were also under increasing pressure, as they struggled to find the extra money needed to buy the essentials to make David's life more comfortable.
Jane said she was initially hesitant to ask for help, but she decided to reach out to ABTA LifeLine for support.
'At first my husband didn't know about me contacting LifeLine because he has always provided for his family until he became ill. I was desperate to get him a woollen mattress topper to help his aching bones.'
ABTA LifeLine was able to step in at a time when the couple needed it most. Purchasing a specialty therapeutic mattress topper for David, helping with bills and groceries and sending a luxury Christmas hamper for the family to enjoy.
Jane is now encouraging her industry colleagues to reach our when they too are in need.
'Everyone has different problems in life, and I would say pick up the phone, write or email if you are in the travel industry and need support. The ABTA LifeLine team are truly wonderful. We really cannot thank them enough for their huge support to us.'
Jane is also hoping to raise awareness around the importance of routine health checks - no matter your age.
''If you, a loved one, a colleague or a friend has concerns about their health, don't ignore it. Go and get checked. Early diagnosis can be lifesaving and we would love to prevent other people going through what we are coping with.''
*Names changed and stock images used to protect applicant's identity.
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