Leah and John Small know more than most about getting through tough times and say they’re thankful they took out Life & Health cover with FMG when they did.

Nestled at the foot of Mt Oporae, the couple operate a 650-hectare sheep and beef farm in beautiful, rugged country 30 minutes east of Dannevirke.

They took over the farm after John’s parents sadly both passed away from cancer when he was 22 and Leah was 21.

“That tough experience brought home the importance of having Life & Health cover. Making sure we’re covered and making sure John’s getting checked at an early age. Prevention is the biggest focus for him because of his family history,” says Leah.

John and Leah decided to start a family and while she was pregnant, they sat down with their Life & Health Adviser who suggested they set up cover for their soon to be born son. They did that and took out cover soon after he was born.

“I then went on to have a pre-term labour. My first child, he came at 28 weeks. So, he was three months early and has Mild Ataxic Cerebral Palsy and is deaf but has had cochlear implants. We were quite lucky we covered him when he was born so he had that cover,” says Leah.

“We thought we were going to have a normal run, we didn’t so it was great that we put that in place.”

Leah says life certainly throws you some curve balls and they are thankful they took out the cover they did.

“We’ve had some of the roughest years of our lives the last seven years but it’s all looking up now and the cover has helped us get through the difficult times.

“At the start of all this I guess we didn’t really realise how young we were and what we had to deal with at such a young age, but now looking back it is amazing we got through that and we’re stronger for it.”

Leah says with the cover they have they feel more confident looking forward. “Our biggest focus is our children now and Life & Health cover means that if anything should happen, they’re set up and looked after and there is always a plan in place if anything happens to any of us.”

Looking to the future with optimism, Leah says they are now making the most of everyday and enjoying life in their slice of paradise with their two children.

“We love it, we wouldn’t be anywhere else. We love the rugged landscape and exploring our streams for freshwater crayfish. My husband’s heart is in this land. He can hardly bare to spend a night away from it.”