People say I’m brave, but I don’t know. I think it’s only grace.”

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People say I’m brave, but I don’t know. I think it’s only grace.”


“In the last few months of 2015, I was hoping to fall pregnant with our second child, but instead I found a lump in my breast. Not exactly a fair trade – hoping for life but getting ‘death’ instead.” These are the sentiments shared by Higher Certificate in Financial Planning graduate, Anne’ Franke. 

In February 2016 – a few weeks into her first semester studies – she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The 34-year-old mother of one says that despite this setback, she managed to complete all the modules she had registered for before the semester ended. She was doing this while preparing for surgery in April that year.

“Because my further treatment involved chemotherapy, I decided not to take any modules during the 2016 second semester but rather to focus on getting through treatment first.  I underwent six months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiotherapy, which ended in January 2017,” she shared.

She said: “We may never understand why things happen the way they do and we don’t have to. All we need to know is that God made us. He knew I would need some extra grace for this interruption in life. He provided for me long before the need was even there. My name is Anné and it means “grace.” Thirty-five years ago, He called me GRACE. I floated through the rest of the treatment like I wasn’t fazed and people called me brave. Maybe I am brave, but then only by His grace. He made me brave. His grace is enough. My hair grew back. I grew stronger and my life returned to normal.”

Franke said she was anxious to get back to her studies, to the extent that she registered for the 2017 first semester in November 2016. “I was happy to be healthy and strong and getting back to life and the books – I completed the last four modules in 2017. Since I could take a break to finish my treatment, I wasn't under any pressure to continue with studies immediately, so luckily it didn't have an enormous impact on my educational journey.” 

Franke was ecstatic to finally complete the Higher Certificate in Financial Planning qualification, and hopes to continue with the Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning next year. She’s currently working with her father, who has 44 years of experience in this field, “to become the best adviser I can, in order to make a difference in the lives of our clients. Every day I'm learning and helping people, and that's good enough for me.”   

Franke said her Milpark journey was pleasant and even though she had never studied through distance learning before, the support she received from lecturers and tutors was phenomenal. “A special mention goes to my lecturer, Tyrone Ford. He always goes above and beyond to make sure his students understand – a real teacher, a good teacher. Also, the Student Services department was always ready to assist with any query I had.”

She said her qualification has enabled her to understand many aspects of financial planning and its importance. “Education is key; one must never stop learning, whatever your field of expertise or interest. Anything I learn is enriching me and is something I can never lose, something nobody can ever take away.”  

“With everything I learn,” she continues, “I become a better adviser, thus enabling me to better serve my clients. I find most people are so uneducated and ill-informed about many aspects of financial planning and why it is important, especially young people, who think it's [only] for when you get old. I'd like to make a positive difference when it matters.” 

03 Apr 2018