FMI steps in to shine a light on a young man’s journey to normality

19 June 2017FMI
Brad Toerien (CEO of FMI) handing over the R20 000 cheque to Warren Bonn.

Brad Toerien (CEO of FMI) handing over the R20 000 cheque to Warren Bonn.

Friday the 9th of June 2017 marked a very special day for Warren Bonn who received a generous donation of R20 000 from local income protection and life insurance company- FMI, in a handover that took place in Umhlanga. Warren suffers from a rare condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the tongue and the money donated by FMI will be put towards the remainder of his required medical procedures.

Warren’s condition is extremely rare with only about 1 in 1 million adults being diagnosed with it. He has spent two years visiting 72 doctors, specialists and surgeons trying to get answers about his excruciatingly painful condition. He repeatedly received the same terrifying advice on treatment, which was to remove his tongue and attempt to build a new one using tissue from his forearm. This ‘new tongue’ would not function as a typical tongue and would mean that at the young age of 28, Warren would never eat solid foods again, his speech would be permanently impaired and he would have to start learning how to speak from scratch.

However, it was the 73rd medical opinion Warren received, as a result of an international Medical Second Opinion service, that finally gave him the answer he had been looking for – the option of keeping his tongue and treating it in a non-invasive manor. Although Warren had finally found the ideal treatment for his condition, he encountered yet another discouraging obstacle. The six medical procedures and travel required to relieve him of his pain and swelling which are vital for saving his tongue, amounts to a substantial financial undertaking. Warren has only undergone one of the $50 000 procedures in New York which occurred in April 2017. This operation has already resulted in his tongue’s swelling decreasing, his ability to eat solid foods again and the overall dramatic improvement of his quality of life. Warren’s second procedure of the total six was scheduled for the 8th of June but he was sadly unable to raise the funds in time to proceed with it.

“I am very grateful for everyone who has generously contributed towards my procedures so far. FMI’s latest contribution is nothing short of overwhelming and I can’t thank them enough as every bit helps. I was also thrilled to be made part of their #21Lives campaign so that my story can hopefully help others realise the importance of having the correct insurance in place so they don’t wind up in the same financial situation as I am currently in. People need to trust their instincts and seek out a second opinion if they are not comfortable with their diagnosis or treatment” stated Bonn.

Warren has a crowdfunding website to create awareness about his rare condition and to raise money for his treatment as he didn’t have illness cover and has had little to no assistance from his Medical Insurer to cover the costs. Through his #21Lives documentary FMI hopes it will increase awareness for Warren and encourage more donations to his cause.

CEO of FMI, Brad Toerien, is pleased to have been able to assist Warren in his journey to recovery. “Hearing Warren’s story really struck a chord with us, especially with us currently rolling out our #21Lives campaign. His story of determination to get back on his feet and live his life to the fullest is nothing short of inspiring. His journey also solidifies that our free Medical Second Opinion benefit can be life-changing for our policyholders. We hope our financial contribution helps Warren towards achieving his goal of getting all six operations completed. At FMI we are passionate about helping and protecting people’s dreams despite the challenges that life throws at them. We wish Warren all the very best and encourage other South African businesses and individuals to contribute to his cause”, said Toerien.

If you would like to make a donation towards Warren’s remaining medical procedures, please visit

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