Category Archives: ASD

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Transparency With Diana B.: An Advisor’s Battle With Stomach Cancer, Addiction and Himself



About 12 years ago, Steve Melen had just started a new job as an advisor at Morgan Stanley, was remodeling his house and had a new baby girl when he got the shock of his life; he was diagnosed with stage III stomach cancer. Not long after, he went through a very serious surgery, with doctors removing several of his organs, including his stomach. But the real problems started after he left the hospital.

In this episode of Transparency, WealthManagement.com Managing Editor Diana Britton is joined by Melen, who shares the intimate details of his battle with cancer. He would later come out of a complicated treatment with an addiction to pain medication and later on, alcohol. Listen to Steve’s story about how he found the strength to change his life for the better. 

In this episode, you will learn:

 The story of Steve’s diagnosis and battle with cancer

  • What lead to his addiction to pain meds and how he eventually kicked them
  • How Steve’s fears, insecurities and broken relationships lead him to self-medicate with alcohol  
  • What his “rock-bottom” moment was
  • What kind of psychological toll health issues could have on one’s family and caregivers
  • How Steve got past the addiction and started being open and honest with others about what he went through
  • About Steve’s new beginning
  • And more.

 Tune in now to hear Steve’s very personal and emotional story about overcoming cancer and addiction.

 Resources:  WealthManagement.com | Diana Britton | Contact Diana | Debbie’s Dream Foundation


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Transparency With Diana B.: The Ups and Downs of Living on the Spectrum



Welcome to the first episode of Transparency with Diana B., a podcast that explores the deepest struggles and hardships that many advisors face. Our mandate is to bring these issues out into the open so that others may find healing. 

Today your host Diana Britton, managing editor of WealthManagement.com, is joined by Andrew Komarow, the founder of Planning Across the Spectrum, a financial planning firm that specializes in special-needs individuals and their families. The firm has a specific focus on folks with autism spectrum disorder, a neurological and developmental disorder. Andrew is actually on the spectrum himself, so he knows the disorder first-hand. This conversation about Andrew’s adult diagnosis of autism peels away layers of misconceptions about the disorder and encourages others to cast down their masks. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The definition of ASD and typical behaviors and symptoms
  • Why Andrew believes there is almost too much awareness of ASD and a need for more acceptance and understanding
  • About one person’s struggle with autism 
  • What helped Andrew to become successful in the financial industry
  • The truth about common ASD misconceptions
  • How Andrew overcame the struggles with the disorder
  • His advice for folks who may be different
  • And more.

Tune in now to hear a candid conversation with Andrew that unravels the many misconceptions about ASD and offers a practical path to healing. 

Resources:   WealthManagement.com | Diana Britton | Planning Across The Spectrum | Andrew Komarow | Contact Diana