Joven and Benita were living the American Dream until Joven was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma of his left kidney—cancer. What gave him peace of mind during the recovery stage was his life insurance policy with living benefits. Today, Joven is cancer free and wants to share his story with you.
High school sweethearts in the Philippines, Joven and Benita’s love endured separation while they were in the process of immigrating to the United States.
Benita moved to the U.S. in 1990 but returned to the Philippines in 1992 to marry Joven. After getting married and starting a family, Benita returned to the U.S. while Joven remained in the Philippines to raise their children. In 2002 he packed up his family and moved to Wildomar, California to join Benita. Joven an engineer, and Benita, a registered nurse, felt like they were living the American Dream for several years. In November 2011 that all changed, at least for the moment.
In November 2011, Joven went to visit his 80 year-old mother and eight siblings in the Philippines. During his vacation he had his blood drawn and the test results showed his blood sugar was elevated. The doctor decided to run additional tests which revealed that his blood pressure was high as well. An ultrasound of his abdomen and pelvis revealed a tumor in his left kidney. The doctor wanted to run a CT scan to confirm the tumor but Joven decided to wait to have it done when he returned to the U.S. following his vacation. “I was not in pain or bothered at all,” recalls Joven. “I figured I could be treated with medication and everything would be fine.”
An Unexpected Diagnosis
Back in the States, Benita called the Philippines and wound up talking to Joven’s niece who happens to be a nurse. During the conversation the niece mentioned that Joven went to see a doctor and was prescribed medication for his blood sugar and elevated blood pressure. When Joven got on the phone Benita asked him about the medication he was taking. To this day Benita vividly recalls Joven blurting out, “Oh yeah, I have a tumor on my left kidney—cancer.”
After talking further, Benita became concerned and talked Joven in to coming back to the States early. He got back to San Diego on December 20, 2011 and after the holidays went to see his physician. On January 13, 2012, Joven was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma of his left kidney—cancer. When the doctor shared the diagnosis Benita cried, Joven did not. It was devastating news for the family, however,
Joven, being an eternal optimist, remained calm. “We should remain solid in our faith,” he told his sobbing wife.
Following the diagnosis they immediately scheduled an appointment with a top urologist in San Diego who confirmed the cancer diagnosis and just a few weeks later Joven had surgery to remove his left kidney.
The Road to Recovery
Although the surgery went well and the prognosis was good, it would take time for him to recover. Benita decided to take a leave of absence from her two nursing jobs to care for Joven. With both of them out of work, the health concerns quickly shifted to financial concerns.
A week after the surgery, as they were thinking through their finances, Joven remembered the living benefits of his policy. Could they qualify for living benefits through the life insurance policy they purchased on Joven before he left for the Philippines? They contacted their agent to see if they could access their benefits to help them with the financial burden. And indeed they could. They had purchased life insurance on Joven for financial protection in the event that he died too soon. They were very grateful to find that living benefits on their policy – purchased from one of the insurance companies of National Life – also provided protection due to Joven’s illness.
Peace of Mind
Within a few weeks they received a check for $288,000. This gave them a tremendous amount of peace. They could now focus on Joven’s recovery and avoid the financial disaster that had been looming ahead.
Three years later, Joven is now cancer-free, plays tennis and once again is back to living the American Dream. Because they were both so inspired by the peace of mind that their life insurance policy with living benefits gave them, Benita left her nursing career to become a full- time agent and Joven entered the business as well and shares his life changing experience every chance he gets. He says, “It has been therapeutic to tell my story.”
On a Mission
Today Benita and Joven are on a mission to share their story with everyone they meet. They don’t miss an opportunity to talk about life insurance with living benefits. They know that they have lots of work to do, and lives to change. According to the 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, more than 40% of Americans have no life insurance leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.
There’s More to Life
Surviving a critical illness with the financial protection from Joven’s life insurance changed their lives immensely. So much so, that Joven and Benita have made life insurance their life mission. “We are on an ultimate crusade to bring prosperity to the American household by making sure people are properly and adequately insured.” To date, Benita has recruited 130 agents to her team and continues to share her story about how life can change in an instant. They know there’s more to life than material wealth. Their goal is to protect families from a financial disaster that can occur from the unexpected.
Joven and Benita are licensed insurance agents for the insurance companies of National Life Group.
Living Benefits are provided by Accelerated Benefit Riders that allow a policy holder to access the death benefit while living in the event of a qualifying terminal, chronic or critical illness, or critical injury. Riders are supplemental benefits that can be added to a life insurance policy and are not suitable unless you also have a need for life insurance. Riders are optional, may require additional premium and may not be available in all states or on all products. Payment of Accelerated Benefits will reduce the Cash Value and Death Benefit otherwise payable under the policy. Receipt of Accelerated Benefits may be a taxable event and may affect your eligibility for public assistance programs. Please consult your personal tax advisor to determine the tax status of any benefits paid under this rider and with social service agencies concerning how receipt of such a payment will affect you. The use of one benefit may reduce or eliminate other policy and rider benefits. This is not a solicitation of any specific insurance policy.
National Life Group® is a trade name of National Life Insurance Company, Montpelier, VT, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, Addison, TX and their affiliates. Each company of National Life Group is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest is not an authorized insurer in New York and does not conduct insurance business in New York.