Pay It Forward

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Chances are, unless you live in San Diego, you are not familiar with Brian Monaghan. If you are, perhaps you will know Brian as either a highly successful plaintiff’s trial attorney, or as a Director of the San Diego Padres, the American Ireland Fund, the Salk Institute International Council and/or Hastings College of Law at the University of California.

If you knew all of that about Brian Monaghan then immediately go to the bonus round. The preliminaries are too easy for you.~

Of course, if you are familiar with Brian, you also probably knew that in 1998 Mr. Monaghan was diagnosed with two cancerous brain tumors and given a 15% chance of survival.

I admit, I’d never heard of Brian Monaghan. Then one early August morning this came in the mail:

My husband and I have been members of MedjetAssist since 2001. Here’s why:

In 1998, Brian was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma with two brain tumors and lymph node involvement. He was classified as stage IV; there is no stage V. That began a long, involved journey but to cut to the chase, eleven years later, he is alive and well and we are doing our very best to enjoy life. We feel truly blessed, fortunate or just plain lucky to be living the life we are and in fact, in our effort to pay it forward, we have written a book about our experience. The Power of Two: Surviving Serious Illness with an Attitude and an Advocate was published in May and for the past few months we have been very busy with a nationwide book tour, speaking engagements and numerous radio interviews across the country.

When it became clear that Brian had outlived all expectations, we decided we wanted to do as much as we could to enjoy life and for us that included travel. Although he was well, I was afraid to travel outside the country with him. The fear of being alone in a situation where he might need expert medical care from our own doctors was too overwhelming for me. That’s where MedjetAssist came in. A friend told me about it and I am now one of your best salespersons… I tell all of our friends that “we won’t leave home without it.”

We have learned that life takes us on many journeys. But when it comes to “road trips,” MedjetAssist makes those journeys possible for us by giving me peace of mind.


Gerri Monaghan

You can engage all the copywriters, advertising and public relations pros you can find in a phone book and nothing can match a testimonial as written by one of your own members, as in Gerri Monaghan’s words.  What a wonderful read and especially because 11 years later Brian is still enjoying life and travel despite the gloomy forecasts!

After reading Gerri’s letter I immediately did two things: (1) I ordered The Power of Two and (2) I sent the Monaghans an email requesting a good time to speak with them over the phone.

The phone call happened a couple of days later. Watching their grandkids made it tough for the Monaghans to find a window of time to talk.

What delightful people. Not certain I would have expected less. Gerri wanted to make sure Brian was on the phone as well.

Gerri told me, “My position is Brian has outlived all his warranties but that wasn’t going to stop us. Right now Brian’s health is very good and there are no travel limitations, but I could not make trips without feeling I have back-up and that’s what our Medjet membership gives us.”

She continued, “We wrote the book for one reason- to provide a story of hope against all odds as well as a road map to help those who come behind us. As part of our attempt to pay it forward, we have donated 1800 books to cancer centers around the country.”

Frankly it was one of those feel good moments in life. No matter what might have been ailing you at the time and no matter what problems were taking their toll on you, after speaking with Gerri and Brian you just felt better about everything!

Noted North Carolina mom, breast cancer survivor and former Vice Presidential candidate spouse, Elizabeth Edwards said: “Throughout my life, people around me have woven a tapestry to hold me up. Brian- with his courage, compassion and grace is part of my tapestry. He and Gerri’s story is yet another gift.”

Being introduced to The Power of Two made it one of those days when opening the morning mail was truly a pleasure.

I normally end these eNews updates with a note to “Travel Safe.” Unbeknownst to me, the Monaghans have been doing just that for the past 11 years and are still going strong!

We are honored to play a small part in this great and touching success story.~

Travel Safe,

Roy Berger