Do you stress about money? A 'money coach' might be the remedy.
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Capital One

Like many people, Dana Nielsen had spent much of her life struggling with her relationship with money. "It was this object way outside of me that I didn't have control over," she says. "It was something that I needed but didn't value. And I didn't know how to have a relationship with something that I needed but didn't value."

Little did Nielsen know that exploring her relationship with money, figuring out what mental or behavioral obstacles were getting in her way, and forming a plan of action would give her power over her finances for the first time. But that's how she felt after three Money Coaching sessions in a Capital One Café—empowered.


"It gave me confidence," she says. "It gave me trust in myself and trust in money in a way that I had not had in the past. It really connected the dots for me."

Nielsen was just launching her own private psychotherapy practice when she decided to try out the Money Coaching program. She says she was surprised by what it felt like when she arrived at the Capital One Café in San Francisco.

"It was a really different experience of being in a bank than I had had in the past," said Nielsen. "Very calm and casual."

Instead of a sterile atmosphere, Capital One Cafés feel like cool coffee shops, complete with cozy nooks, quality coffee, free WiFi and good lighting. Nielsen was offered a beverage, then her Money Coach invited her to a private space to chat about her goals and values, and how to use money to create a life she would love.

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The Money Coach didn't tell Nielsen much to contribute to her 401K or which stocks she should buy. Instead, the coach helped her explore her beliefs and emotions around money, set financial goals, and make an action plan for reaching them. She left feeling empowered and confident about her finances in a way she never have before — and it didn't cost her a dime.

Nielsen says she had a lot of limiting beliefs about money, and her Money Coaching sessions helped her have a more positive outlook. They allowed her to set a different bar for herself and to align herself with the belief that she could create abundance and have control over her financial life. And it was fun, she says. "I loved bringing play to something that has historically and culturally so dry and so serious. Making it into something personable that I could work with was just so encouraging."

That change in mindset resulted in real-life change. Since completing her Money Coaching sessions, Nielsen has opened a high-interest savings account, paid off a private business loan, raised her fees, and adjusted her sliding scale spots. She has also become more purposeful about where she chooses to spend her money, focusing on conscious brands and supporting more minority-run businesses, to align her spending with her values.

Now Nielsen recommends Money Coaching to people on a regular basis.

"Money is a foundational issue for a lot of people," says Nielsen. "It's in the same kind of belief categories as our sense of safety, sense of belonging, sense of home." She has clients who make a lot of money but also have a lot of debt, and their relationship with money is messy. "For clients and friends that have issues in that department," she says, "I refer them to Money Coaching as a supplement to therapy."

Similar Money Coaching experiences are happening in Capital One Cafés across the U.S., and the program is the brainchild of a team of Capital One creatives and financial advisers who set out to explore what kinds of financial services people really need.

Through their research, the team found that people of all ages and life stages struggle with financial anxiety. If people don't look at their emotional relationship with money, it doesn't matter what changes they make on paper. People's financial success won't budge if they don't address the thoughts, beliefs, and patterns of behavior they have around money.

Mira Lathrop, a co-founder of the Money Coaching program, worked as a financial planner for ten years prior to collaborating on the program, helping people manage their money. That experience, along with a degree in psychology and her work as a certified life coach, made Lathrop the perfect person to help build what has become Capital One's Money Coaching service.The team created the Money Coaching service to help people move from stress to confidence in their relationship with money. This "money journey" is a free service available to the public, even if you're not a Capital One customer. Anyone can come in for three in-person sessions with a Money Coach at no cost and with no further commitment.

Here's how it works:

You set up a time to meet with a Money Coach at a Capital One Café near you. When you arrive for your appointment, an Ambassador in the Café will ask if you want something to drink, give you a tour of the Capital One space if you'd like, and then you meet your Money Coach — a certified coach who has been trained to help people work through beliefs and feelings about money.

You'll be asked a series of open-ended questions and then the coach will help you choose from 10 tools the program has designed to help you discover an alternative perspective. The tools are interactive on an iPad, and include things like; Clear Your Path, Chart Your Values or Looking at your Future. The purpose is to help facilitate an honest, deep-dive into your hopes, fears, and goals — and ultimately leave you feeling empowered in your financial life.

"In coaching, we really believe that you are the driver of your life," says Lathrop. "You know what's best for you. Of course, there are answers that you might need to get, feedback you'd be interested in, and things you need to dive deeper in. But we're facilitating a journey for you and walking alongside you, reminding you that you have access to what you need. You're empowered to find out what's the next best step for you."

Capital One

Lathrop says the most consistent feedback from people coming out of sessions is that it wasn't at all what they were expecting, but they are "surprised and delighted" by the experience. People find having an authentic, honest conversation about money refreshing, which is exactly why Capital One designed the program.

"There's a lot of financial advice available, but learning how to engage with money is not something we're taught, she says. It's not taught in school, and it's not very comfortably talked about or taught in families."

"I feel like this is such a rare and beautiful opportunity we're offering," she adds. "Everyone has a powerfully unique experience."


To find a Capital One Café near you and make a free Money Coaching appointment, go to CapitalOne.com/MoneyCoaching.

Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

The "Big 5" is an old term from the colonial era, denoting the five wild animals in Africa that were the most sought-after kills for trophy hunters. Killing those five—lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo—meant ultimate success in the big-game hunting world.

Now there's a "New Big 5," but instead of a barbaric goal for trophy hunters, it's a beautiful goal for wildlife photographers.

The initiative was created by British wildlife photographer Graeme Green with the goal of raising awareness about threats to the world's animals including habitat loss, poaching, illegal animal trade, and climate change. In a global call for votes, 50,000 wildlife lovers shared which animals they most wanted to photograph or see in photos. And the winners are:

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Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

The "Big 5" is an old term from the colonial era, denoting the five wild animals in Africa that were the most sought-after kills for trophy hunters. Killing those five—lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo—meant ultimate success in the big-game hunting world.

Now there's a "New Big 5," but instead of a barbaric goal for trophy hunters, it's a beautiful goal for wildlife photographers.

The initiative was created by British wildlife photographer Graeme Green with the goal of raising awareness about threats to the world's animals including habitat loss, poaching, illegal animal trade, and climate change. In a global call for votes, 50,000 wildlife lovers shared which animals they most wanted to photograph or see in photos. And the winners are:

Keep Reading Show less
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Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."