Just six months after retiring from the 32-year-old Richmond, Virginia Fire Department, Len Archer received a devastating diagnosis from his doctor. He had pancreatic cancer and he probably only had two to eight months to live.
For a moment, Len (56) and his wife, Paula, went from planning their retirement to preparing for what seemed inevitable.  At the request of a friend, Len reached out to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® to see if there was any hope. Within a day, he heard back about a test study with the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.® But it was a big catch: even though Len had health insurance, it did not cover the expensive experimental treatment.
Shortly after receiving his diagnosis, Len promised that he would not let the cancer go bankrupt and leave his wife "to live under a bridge" after his death. Now the archers were faced with the difficult choice of emptying their savings and selling the dream home they bought a decade ago or anticipating the treatment.
That was when Len & # 39 ;s ERIE agent, Doug Cox, called. ] Doug, who had previously worked with Len at the fire department, had heard of his diagnosis. Years earlier, Doug had issued life insurance to his friend. As part of the $ 1
"When Doug called, it was like an angel was talking to me," Len said. "I had completely forgotten that something like that was available." The rider provided $ 75,000 which was quickly deposited into Len & # 39 ;s bank account. The extra money made Len's decision a good idea. He would continue with the experimental treatment without being forced to sell his home or empty his savings.
"It was literally a lifesaver," says Len. “The $ 75,000 gave us the breathing space we needed to organize our finances and keep the wolves out the door. We were able to take some financial steps and are doing well now.
It is remarkable that it is not only Len's finances that are healthier than expected. He is currently seeing positive results from the treatment. The cancer has stopped spreading and doctors are cautiously optimistic that he will be able to add significant time – perhaps years – to his life.
He has already been able to celebrate his grandson's 13th birthday – something he thought he would never have seen.
"ERIE put hope in our hearts and gave me a reason to live," says Len. "Quite simply, Doug Cox and ERIE saved my life."
Len has become an advocate for a bill proposed in Virginia to help firefighters diagnosed with cancer – an occupational risk they claim is due to the increasing amount of toxins they are exposed to at work.
And he encourages everyone he knows to talk to an ERIE agent about life insurance and to have this rider as part of their policy.
"Give yourself peace of mind – and a fighting chance," Len says. “Call an ERIE agent directly to make sure you have the right life insurance coverage in place. You will not regret it.
To learn more about Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, talk to your local ERIE agent, who can help you consider your options based on your personal situation and help determine which coverage is right for you.
* ERIE® life products and services provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company, based in Erie, Pa., A member of the Erie Insurance Group, are not available in New York. The driver is available in connection with a qualified life policy. See individual policies for specific coverage information. Certain terms and conditions may apply. See our disclaimer for further information.