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Dee & Graham: given the freedom to travel by Free Spirit

Dee Marquette-Slight and her husband Graham have always loved to travel. All their lives they have enjoyed exploring new places and travelling extensively all over the world.

Two of our Free Spirits in Budapest, Hungary
Dee and Graham in Budapest, Hungary

However, in October 2014 Dee and Graham had to cancel many trips that they had planned when Dee was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer.

This is a rare form of cancer that affects the neuroendocrine system causing tumours to develop all over the body, most commonly the intestine, pancreas and lung.

Neuroendocrine or carcinoid tumours (NETs) can often be slow-growing. However, others can be more harmful and aggressive, which is why scans and tests must be carried out regularly.

After aggressive treatment, Dee’s condition was brought under control and the couple was delighted when her doctors gave the green light for them to travel again.

However, they were shocked at what they learned when they began to look for travel insurance. Many insurers declared Dee uninsurable. With others, the costs were excessive, even surpassing what they had paid for the trip itself.

Before speaking to Free Spirit, they found that a lot of insurers just did not understand NETs. They did not realise that Dee’s form of cancer required regular scans and consultations, yet this did not mean she was high risk, as may normally be the case.

Dee said “When I tried to explain my condition I’d find that the person on the phone just would not understand – they couldn’t apply any common sense to their system. Free Spirit was the only insurer who took the time to fully understand my condition and treat me as a human being – not a list of medical questions.”

This is a familiar experience to many who have been diagnosed with NETs when they try to source travel insurance. Being active with the NET Patient Foundation (NPF), Dee and Graham have met many who have shared their frustrations.

Initially, Free Spirit could provide single trip cover at a much fairer price, allowing Dee and Graham to resume their passion for travel. Then, when they began to travel extensively again, Mary Holt, Free Spirit medical travel insurance expert, recommended an annual multi-trip policy to save even more money*. Since then, the couple has been able to fill up their passports with stamps from all over the globe!

They recently travelled to China. This was an extra special trip for them as when they originally planned to travel in 2015, it had to be cancelled. This year they were able to finally visit Shanghai, the Forbidden City, Beijing and much more.

Dee and Graham also ‘ticked another two places off the list’ by travelling to Washington D.C and Iceland. They have been kind enough to share some of their travel photos with us here.

Holiday photos from Iceland, USA and China
From left to right: A waterfall in Iceland, Washington Memorial, The Great Wall of China

Do you have travel photos or a travel story that you would like to share?

Send us an email or call us on 0800 170 7704 as we’d love to hear all about it.

Click here to find out more about the NET Patient Foundation, who do such a fantastic job raising awareness of this misunderstood condition.

*In some cases it is only possible to offer single trip insurance to customers based on their individual circumstances.