Thursday 2nd May 2019
When the worst happens, the last thing you want to worry about is money. But for SAC Balamurugan Jayaraju this was the heart-breaking reality he faced. Having just been given the news of his father’s terminal cancer diagnosis and impending brain surgery, he could not afford the flight home.
Balamurugan, a logistics and deployment specialist based at RAF Odiham, was on deployment exercise in Oman when he received the devastating news his father had been diagnosed with stage four cancer back home in India.
“The news came as a big shock. My family and I had not long returned from a visit to India and my father had seemed fit and well as he usually is. Following tests the family were told the only option was for my father to have brain surgery, which was incredibly risky.”
The RAF granted Balamurugan compassionate leave from the exercise and he was flown back to the UK to be with his wife and son. That’s when the RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in to help.
“Having just been to India, I was struggling to find another £750 for the flight. I spoke to the Warrant Officer and filled out the paperwork, the next day £500 was in my bank account.
“It would have been a real struggle for me if the Fund had not stepped in to help. I needed to be with my family and they made that possible.”
See also: Military support organisations