Heartbreaking reason mum cancelled life insurance months before terminal diagnosis

Teressa Gates told her brother Jordan how 'difficult' it had been to keep up with rising costs.

Teressa Gates smiles at the camera wearing a hat (left) and she smiles with her four children (right).
Teressa Gates cancelled her life insurance months before she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Source: GoFundMe

A young family are questioning whether they will have enough money for food and rent after their mum died from cancer last month, with the woman cancelling her life insurance just before her terminal diagnosis due to the rising cost of living.

Victorian mum of four Teressa Gates had been paying life insurance for "over a decade" when she admitted to her brother Jordan rising bill payments were becoming too difficult to maintain.

"She had a couple of discussions with myself and our mum and just mentioned everything is getting ridiculous, prices of everything are going up... it was difficult as a single parent," Jordan told Yahoo News.

"Inflation and the cost of living were going up, as it still is, and she'd been relatively healthy for the majority of her life. She'd never really had any major health issues or anything... so she didn't see the point in the life insurance, she couldn't afford to pay it," he said.

However, less than four months after cancelling her insurance, 46-year-old Teressa was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Despite "not having a lot of money" Teressa worked tirelessly to provide for her four children, aged between 12 and 25, before she passed. She was $800 ahead in paying their electricity and WiFi bills and was able to get terminal funeral cover so the family had some money for her funeral.

"She was just absolutely terrified for her children and didn't know how she was going to make it work. She's done amazing. She's done an amazing bloody job," Jordan said.

Her second eldest Jade who turned 21 days after Teressa's passing, has since taken on "all the duties" and "role of mum" to her two younger siblings, Ebony and Amber.

"Even Amber, being 12, she sort of said to Jade, 'Are we still going to have money for rent and food?'. It's heartbreaking," he said.

Jordan and his partner Tegan are doing everything possible to support the family and have created a GoFundMe page in the hope some funds can be raised for the girls, desperately hoping they can remain in the family home in Anglesea, Victoria where they lived with their mum.

"Teressa paid what she could for the kids up front and had left them little pockets of stuff around the house, little treasures and notes to find," Jordan said. "I can't imagine how hard it is for them."

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