Cancer Survivor’s Story of Strength
Kimberly H., Senior Sales Executive at Travelers, went in for a routine colonoscopy in January 2021 and left the appointment with the news that she had stage 4 colon cancer.
“I remember waking up and finding out,” Kimberly said, “I was shocked. These things always happen to someone else, never to you. I had been healthy my entire career.”
In 2019, Kimberly’s doctor had recommended she get the scan the following year as typical proactive health protocol. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force in 2020, Kimberly pushed the appointment off. When her doctor found out, he urged her to go in 2021. “I called my doctor right after I found out the news and thanked him,” Kimberly explained, “If he hadn’t been so professionally demanding, I probably would’ve put it off for another year.”
Doctors quickly discovered that the cancer had already spread to Kimberly’s lungs. She underwent two surgeries to remove as much as possible and was assigned six months of chemotherapy post-op. “I was fortunate to only have to go through six months of chemo,” Kimberly said, “I saw stage 4 patients who were assigned 12 months ongoing. I had bought two wigs thinking I’d lose all my hair. I didn’t. I was lucky in many ways.”
Kimberly was on medical leave for nine months during treatment and is now in No Evidence of Disease (NED) status, also called remission. She is back at work, assisting Travelers’ agents and doing what she loves.
When asked how she stayed resilient during that time, Kimberly smiled. “My team and insurance industry partners were amazing,” she recalled, “They sent me cards, flowers, emails, prayers, meals – an overwhelming amount of support. Halfway through my chemo treatments my husband said we needed a bigger refrigerator to hold all the cards!”
It wasn’t just the emotional support that assisted Kimberly during this difficult time. It was the financial support as well. “Long-term disability is a benefit that you never think you will use,” Kimberly said, “I was so grateful that I had it. I didn’t have to worry about my job or my income while I was out. I could just focus on my health.”
Travelers’ comprehensive benefits program offers short- and long-term disability coverage, medical, dental and vision plans, paid time off, 401k Savings Program with company match and so much more. “The company has been great to work with,” Kim reflected, “During my leave, they reached out and helped me understand the LTD process, file paperwork, and even connected me with cancer support groups after treatment. I am one of the biggest advocates for our benefits package. I’m so thankful for my colleagues, my agents and for Travelers.”