To perform on the biggest stages at such a high level for a long time, drawing the largest of crowds, speaks of the staying power of someone in the show business.
And add to the mix a debilitating illness, that person must be made of something or must have something, or both, that others may not have.
At 55, Gary Valenciano has continued to deliver the performance that has sustained his popularity for the last 37 years, at the same time raising a family as any responsible husband and doting father would do. All these while suffering since his teenage days from Type 1 Diabetes, a no laughing matter of an illness.
Gary V., as he is more popularly called, credits his wife Angeli for the help that she has brought to his life especially in dealing with the illness. “I learned to take care of myself as my mom was in the USA. When I married Angeli, she studied diabetes and its potential complications so she, in some way, became my nurse.”
In one of his performances in April 2018 on ASAP with son Gabriel, Gary suddenly complained of chest pains. “I hugged him after the number and while people were clapping and cheering for us, I turned to him and told him to pray for me because I wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t know how bad it was but it was really bad because I think anytime I express that to anyone it means I am really not doing well,” he said.
As he underwent an angiogram a few weeks later, his physicians found out that 95% blockage in his left artery, leaving them no choice but to immediately conduct a cardiac bypass surgery. As if it was not enough, they also found out that he had kidney cancer.
To say that sadness engulfed him and his family was an understatement. “With my heart, I already knew something was wrong. With the cancer, it allowed me to position myself and simply put my life in the hands of God because it was at that point in our lives where we found security and safety.”
To some ordinary mortals, dealing with such conditions would have been devastating to say the least, but Gary, together with his family faced it squarely with constant prayers and stronger bond among them.
It came as a no surprise that he had to dig deep into his savings to pay for his huge medical bills.
Again, he praises his wife for her financial acumen. “Angeli knows many times, when it comes to financial planning, I’m always just trusting God for it, but there are tools He has given us in order to live productively. With the help of savings, an insurance plan and some generous friends, we covered all the costs without a loan.”
Gary V took all these into heart that recently, he eventually signed with AIA Philam Life, as its newest ambassador, hoping that he could educate everyone one about the importance of living healthier, longer and better despite the challenges along the way. “With AIA Philam Life having my back, I know I’m in good hands. I know I have been insured and assured I’ll be okay.”
Understanding uncertainties of life
Mr. Pure Energy believes partnering with AIA Philam Life is trusting the best in the industry, as the company’s experience in providing support to the Filipinos is a story in itself as it has been in the industry since 1947.
Unlike Gary V, AIA Philam Life believes that most Filipinos are unprepared for emergency, let alone medical ones which necessitate the need for deep pockets. It is in this context that the company has crafted a product that can support them as they face health crises in their lives.
Recently, the company launched the AIA Med-Assist, an affordable variable life insurance plan that carries a medical benefit that can help in addressing huge medical expenses. “I believe until you go through the experience yourself, that’s the only time you will really understand the importance of protecting yourself and your family,” Gary says as this package provides for a way to cushion the impact of medical expenses on the savings of those who need to face health emergencies.
AIA Med-Assist is available for those between 18 and 55 and comes in four packages that carry between PHP500,000 and P4 million in annual hospital coverages, dependent on the budget of the client. These packages can be paid long-term even as they carry daily hospitalization Incomes for every day that one is confined and lump sums benefit for the beneficiaries in the event the dreaded thing happen – loss of life. The plan is powered by Philam Vitality, a science-backed wellness program of the company that provides incentives with rewards to members who will sweat out to improve their health.
“It’s true, life is really short. But somehow, you have to do as much good as you can with this life you are given,” says Gary, someone who has learned his lesson in a life-changing manner.
Gary says he is reliant on his family and his AIA Philam Life as his main life support. “I always believe you work on your strengths and entrust your weaknesses with those who can partner with you to take care of the rest, then you can’t go wrong.”
For those who want to know more about AIA Med-Assist, they just need to visit company website at philamlife.com, Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AIAPhilamLife/, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (02)8528-2000.
Managing Editor at Mindanao Times
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