You Make it Better!
When Claire’s only child, Jude, was born, she instantly fell in love. As the weeks went by, Claire and her mother, Liz, started to notice that something was wrong. Jude cried often and wouldn’t gain weight. Then one day, after five seizures, a call to 9-1-1, and hospitalization, Jude was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Typically, people with seizure disorders have difficulty qualifying for an affordable life insurance policy, but thanks to Jude’s grandmother, he is protected for life. When Jude was 20 days old, Liz purchased a whole life insurance policy for him with a Guaranteed Insurability Option (GIO) rider. It will not only allow Jude to purchase additional insurance in the future without proof of insurability, but it will also build cash value that might be used for other things throughout his life, including future medical costs or education.
“I got life policies for both of my grandchildren right after they were born,” said Liz. “I had purchased them for my children and then wanted them for my grandchildren as well. I like the policy because it’s affordable, it builds cash value, and it offers the guaranteed insurability. It just seemed like the best life-long policy.”
Claire feels their unique story shows how important life insurance is and that it’s something all families should consider. Although Jude’s epilepsy diagnosis was quite unexpected (there is no family history), the disease is actually rather common – according to the Epilepsy Foundation, 50 million people are affected worldwide and almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the U.S.
“As a mother, we believe that we have the ability to protect our children from everything. With Jude having the seizures when he was little, I realized there are a lot of things I can’t protect him from,” Claire said. “There are things in life moms can’t prevent or control. It’s like if there was a big earthquake, you know what – I couldn’t stop it… I couldn’t make the earth stop shaking. But I feel like Jude’s life insurance is a safety net. I know that no matter what happens throughout his life, he will always have that.”
Liz feels Jude’s life insurance policy is a gift that will keep on giving, probably longer than she’ll be around. “It will certainly outlast any of the other type of gifts that a grandmother could give,” Liz said. “Blocks, toy trucks, whatever will be discarded, but this will keep going for him. Because I took the guaranteed insurability rider, he will be able to continue to add life insurance over time throughout his life – like when he gets married or he has a child. He can add more and it will continue to build cash value.”
Despite Jude’s health issues, he is exuberant, active, rambunctious, and goes nonstop from morning to night. He loves taking things apart and putting them back together, making new friends, and is very loving, especially to his mom and grandma.
“Obviously, as a mom, you fall in love instantly…but as I’ve watched him get older and have to go through so much, and he’s just so amazing…that your heart grows more and more every day,” Claire says.
Life insurance helped prepare the family when the unexpected came their way and they are now in a good place. They are dealing with and overcoming the challenges of epilepsy and are positive about Jude’s future. He’s down to one epilepsy medication, attends a regular preschool program, does everything any other five-year-old child does, and has a very bright future.
“I think it’s going to be really great,” Claire said. “I really hope he’s able to inspire other children like him to reach for the stars…because there’s nothing that he can’t do, not with that smile!”