After being a Continental/United 1K member for at least 5 years, I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and went through 14 months of treatment and recovery. As I prepared to get back to work, I thought I could contact United and they would agree that my situation was worthy of reinstating the years of dedicated service to United... but I was wrong. I forfeited the cost of 2 tickets that were past a year, lost the upgrades I earned prior to my cancer, and I needed to purchase something to retain my miles. As for my status, United's first take was that I would be just your normal standard "Member"!! After several calls and emails, I finally found one agent with a little compassion to at least provide me with Gold status. Moral of the story... You can beat a life threatening cancer, but don't expect compassion from United.