He was told he had four months to live. This cancer nonprofit gave him a new lease on life.
via CancerLINC

Darnell and Leslie Henson

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Capital One

Darnell Henson doesn't keep track of the date — it's just something he's never been good at — but he'll never forget February 23rd, 2018. It was nearly three o'clock in the morning when he awoke with a horrible pain in his stomach. His first thought: food poisoning. Darnell's wife, Leslie, had brought him a sandwich from work and he was certain it didn't agree with him. So he downed some Pepto-Bismol and hoped for the best. But an hour later, the pain had engulfed him. "This is not food poisoning," Darnell remembers thinking. "It's got to be more."

The pain grew every second. Soon, Darnell couldn't get up off the floor. He'd suffered a broken leg when he was younger and that pain was torture, but the pain he was feeling now was like nothing he'd ever experienced. He woke his wife and she rushed him to the emergency room where doctors ran tests all through the night. Darnell and Leslie were terrified.

Darnell remembers a doctor coming in to speak with them. She delivered news that would turn the Hensons' life upside down: Darnell had kidney cancer that had spread to his lungs. Soon after, doctors found six tumors on his brain, and then a mass on his hip. His cancer, he was told, had progressed to stage four.

"How much time do I have?" Darnell asked his doctor. He was told in March 2018 that he might have two, maybe three years left. Later that year, in August, the doctor told him he thought he was only going to live for four more months. These were some of the darkest days of his life, Darnell recalls. Then he lost his insurance and he and Leslie began to get really scared. They were being asked about wills, trusts, and advanced health directives. But the truth was, they had none of these things in place and hiring a lawyer was out of the question. The couple simply didn't have the funds.


Darnell was so worried about what would happen to his family when he was gone that he couldn't sleep at night. But then: hope. Darnell's doctor told him about an experimental new treatment that might prolong his life. And the doctor's assistant, upon hearing about the Hensons' trouble with insurance, suggested CancerLINC, a nonprofit that connects those living with cancer and their families to legal assistance, financial guidance, and community resources.

"Up until that point, I hadn't made a will," Darnell says. "It was always in the back of my mind, but I kept procrastinating and procrastinating. Every time they put me under for surgery, I thought, 'What if I don't wake up?' I couldn't help but think about the heartache my wife and son were going to go through. I don't worry about dying anymore. But I knew I needed to get stuff in order."

At CancerLINC, the Hensons were connected with Robbie Bassett, a volunteer attorney who found his way to the nonprofit by way of his employer — Capital One. The company has always worked to give back to the community and Robbie had joined many other volunteers from Capital One's legal department to staff CancerLINC's monthly life-planning clinics. He also helps recruit volunteers and has visited clients in their homes to help with any legal questions they might have when they can't make it to the clinic.

The Henson FamilyCancerLINC

When Darnell and Leslie met Robbie, he took the time to hear their story. He listened to their needs, and within one meeting, he'd helped Darnell create a will, designate a power of attorney, and set up an advanced health directive. But the legal work was only part of the equation. No one can put a price on the peace of mind the help gave the Hensons. Darnell could finally sleep again.

"He made it so much easier," Darnell says. "A lot of people do their job because they get a paycheck. But then you meet people that do what they do because they love doing it and you know they really want to help people."

"When you find out that someone is doing a service for you and they're not charging you for it, you're kind of like, 'Well, how are they going to treat me?' But from day one, everyone at CancerLINC made me feel very comfortable because I believe they really love what they're doing."

Robbie's commitment to helping those living with cancer comes from his own experiences. When he was in fourth grade, he lost a friend to the disease. As an adult, he's lost friends, acquaintances, and mentors to the disease. He knew he had to do something to help in the fight against cancer. So when he was given the opportunity to help people like Darnell gain some peace of mind as they're undergoing treatment, he knew he had to take it.

"As legal professionals, we want to give back," Robbie says. "That's Capital One's goal as well: to work with our local communities to give back with our time and our expertise." Though that can be hard as a banking attorney due to the specific nature of the work, Robbie says, Capital One's attorneys always want to challenge themselves by stretching their skill sets to do good and provide competent legal services at the same time.

Capital One's legal pro bono committees, which stretch across New York, Virginia, and Texas, work diligently to identify local nonprofits and partner with them to provide clients with legal help when they might not be able to afford it otherwise. Working with Darnell and other cancer warriors has been one of the most rewarding experiences of Robbie's life.

Today, Darnell's biggest priority is getting well again. He's already blown past the expectations his doctor set for him and continues to respond well to his new treatment. His lungs have cleared; his brain tumors are gone; the cancer in his hip has stabilized. Now Darnell can focus on what's important — spending time with his family. He and Leslie recently renewed their vows and they're living each day as if it's the greatest gift they've ever received.

If there's one other thing that Darnell's become passionate about, it's letting people know that programs like CancerLINC exist. Because everyone, he says, deserves the relief he felt when he got the help he needed.

The doctors saved him in ways he never thought possible, he says. And he's grateful to his higher power for all the blessings in his life. But he says he couldn't have ever felt the hope he does now without the help he received from CancerLINC. Knowing everything's in place financially has given him a new lease on life.

"Everyone could benefit from this," he says.

To learn more about Capital One's community efforts, go to https://www.capitalone.com/about.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Kara Coley, a bartender at Sipps in Gulfport, Mississippi, got an unusual phone call on the job last week.

Photo courtesy of Kara Coley.

"Good evening," Coley answered. "Thank you for calling Sipps!"

A woman on the other end of the line asked, "Is this a gay bar?"

Sipps welcomes everyone, Coley explained to her, but indeed attracts a mostly LGBTQ crowd.



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Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.


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