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Three-time cancer survivor Patrick McIntosh takes on the South Pole

UK, December 24, 2014

Aegon in the UK will support Chartered Financial Planner and three-time cancer survivor, Patrick McIntosh, as he embarks on an expedition to the South Pole to raise awareness of health issues and the importance of financial protection.

58-year-old Patrick McIntosh is no average financial adviser. Before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, and in between treatments for bowel and skin cancer, he climbed Kilimanjaro. In the past he has also sailed across the Atlantic and made countless touring trips across the Alps.

Critical illness policy

Fundamental to his recovery was the fact that Patrick had a business protection critical illness policy in place. The claim payment gave him the peace of mind he needed to focus on his recovery without worrying about his daily expenses and his business.

"Patrick experienced first-hand how important protection is as part of any financial planning," says Dougy Grant, Protection Director at Aegon UK. "His business protection critical illness policy from Aegon paid out £500,000 in 2012 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This enabled him to focus on recovery and make exciting plans such as his trip to the South Pole. Recently Patrick asked us to support his expedition and mission to raise awareness of his own experience."

Raising awareness for men's health issues

Dougy Grant continues: "We are delighted to be supporting this expedition and hope he helps to change the lives of others by raising awareness of health issues and the value of protection.

"Protection is key to all financial planning and should be the first thing advisers talk to their clients about. Conversations about what would happen if someone was to take seriously ill are not easy to have but they could make all the difference to the lives of those diagnosed, their families and their businesses should the unthinkable happen."

"With a family history of cancer and being the director of a business, business protection was an obvious necessity," explains Patrick McIntosh, Chartered Financial Planner and Director at KMG.

"I didn't want to put that pressure on my family and colleagues should I be diagnosed with cancer. The protection payment made a huge difference to my quality of life and rate of recovery during a very stressful time. I may not have managed as well or recovered as quickly had it not been for the safety net the payout gave me."

"As Aegon paid my claim and helped make this expedition possible, it made sense to seek their support. I'm really pleased that they have got on board with what will hopefully be a successful campaign in raising awareness so people don't have to experience the health challenges I have."

"After my experience with cancer, I have realized the importance of early diagnosis in order to live a long and healthy life. I have chosen to support three fantastic charities which do very important work contributing to this, as well as to reach as many people as possible via lectures and presentations."

His latest challenge

This semi-solo operation will be undertaken with only polar guide Conrad Dickinson, who also walked with Prince Harry on 'Walking with the Wounded'. Patrick and Conrad's journey is scheduled to commence (weather dependent) with a flight into Antarctica on 3 January 2015, landing on an ice runway. After several days' acclimatization at Union Glacier including a mini expedition, Patrick and Conrad will fly to a drop-off point which is 222 kilometers from the South Pole.

From 8 January, they will begin their trek south, hauling 50 kg of equipment and supplies each. As they start to acclimatize to the treacherous conditions, they will gradually increase their travel time to about eight hours a day. The journey will be extremely demanding - both physically and psychologically. The Amundsen-Scott research station will be visible from about 15 miles out, but experts warn that those last few miles can seem the longest.

Patrick's training is already well underway, running 26 miles a week as well as walking with a weighted jacket and backpack, totaling 35 kg, for a further 26 miles each week. He has completed two half marathons and recently walked Hadrian's Wall from Carlisle to Newcastle. He is feeling fitter than ever, proof that it's possible to live normally after cancer.

Written by: Aegon