Troubleshooter: Son fights for cancer-stricken mom's life insurance

ANGIER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Securing a life insurance policy can be difficult, but once you are covered, you shouldn't have much to worry about. This was not the case for one local man.

Talon Wilkinson's mom, Kathy Durocher, had been diagnosed with cancer, but they didn't find out she wasn't covered by her life insurance plan until she only had a few days to live.

"Really friendly, genuine lady, real religious," Talon said.

Durocher worked as an emergency dispatcher for law enforcement for more than ten years. In 2013, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and worked on and off as she underwent surgery and chemo treatments.

She went back to work and fought until the doctor told her the cancer has taken over.

It was then when the family decided to check on her life insurance policy that she had through the state.

"Checked with her supervisor and found out we didn't have it, I was floored, completely surprised," Talon said. "We found out ten days before she passed that she didn't have the coverage."

Wilkinson and his step-mom, Lynn Wilkinson, couldn't understand what had happened. They said the dental premiums continued to be taken out of her paycheck, but why not life insurance?

"Why would a mom knowing she was dying have dental and not that life insurance policy," Lynn said.

Lynn and Talon started asking questions with the State Highway Patrol rep.

"They said when there was a gap in between the medical leave and the shared leave, which was one month, that she didn't get paid from the state, and because of that her life insurance had lapsed," Talon said.

To keep her life insurance going, Talon says Durocher would have to re-enroll when she went back to work. Something Talon and Lynn said she would have done if she would have known too.

"But my mom, as much medication she was on, she was really foggy with a lot of that stuff in the first place, but we never got anything at home telling us that we needed to do that so I couldn't help her with that," Talon said.

Helpless, Talon and Lynn said they were given no hope.

"He told us pretty much it was nothing we could do," Talon said. "We had missed that the insurance had lapsed."

But they weren't giving up and got me involved. I called the NC Department of Public Safety. While they were looking into it, Durocher lost her battle with cancer, but Talon and Lynn got an unexpected called from the State Highway Patrol rep.

He told them her insurance policy was reinstated.

"That is just a big burden off my chest, I was ecstatic that day," Talon said. "Finding out before the service gave everything some good closure."

Talon has received the check and says he can't thank everyone enough for continuing to fight for this, including the rep with the State Highway Patrol.

A rep for the State's Department of Public Safety tells us when it comes to payments and premiums for life or health insurance it is up to the worker to keep up with it on their own and make sure the premiums are paid. She also adds that the state sends enrollment information via certified mail so workers know what needs to be done.

She adds the sergeant on this case did work on it for weeks to make sure it was resolved.

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