Kim Dinehart, I AM Somebody

13701059_584342121744208_6528273361595652670_oMy friend and sister in Christ Kim Dinehart battled and beat incurable bone cancer at age 17. The Mayo Clinic tried an experimental surgery,  replacing the bone in her knee with a titanium rod; it saved her life. This month she developed septic shock. Her titanium rod developed a deadly staph infection, and she was rushed to emergency surgery. The infection  traveled to her blood, but she fought and she survived this ordeal. They let her go home on IV antibiotics and she knew she had to be careful in the days ahead. Kim only days later developed another infection, and was bleeding from her mouth and her nose. Her platelet count dropped to zero, she was given IVIG transfusions, and she is pushing through like the fighter she is.

Kim and her kids like many Moldies can’t be exposed to cross contamination. It can be hard for others to understand just how much cross contamination can be deadly to people with mold illness. When immune compromised like Kim and her children, its a very serious and scary situation. Kim has just moved to a healthy environment and is trying to start over again after a major mold exposure. While Kim is recovering her son is placed on oxygen and has developed croup and her other son complains that his throat feels like its closing. We all know how horribly scary it can be when we become this sick or worse yet when our kids get this sick from mold. Kim has been fighting to keep herself and her kids in a safe environment the way any of us would fight. We are in the fight of our lives literally..

Please lift Kim’s family up in prayer today. We know Kim is a fighter she has proven this time and time again, and her amazing faith in God through this battle has been an inspiration to many. She has already used a few lifelines, she knows she shouldn’t be here, but she tells me she is here for a reason. Kim we love you and as a community we are praying for healing for your family. Stay strong my friend, you are somebody special and you are an amazing mom who I know more than anything wants to heal your family. I applaud your warrior! May God protect you and build a hedge of protection around your family today. May you regain your lives so you can do a mighty work for God! You have been called for a greater purpose, and you know this. My sister, my friend, I am always here for you in any way I can be, and know you have so many praying for you. There is also an army of angels on your side as well my friend, so take heart you will rise again!!!

 

Please Watch Kim Dinehart, I AM Somebody

 

And please Donate to her Christmas Miracle Fund. Five dollars is the price of a cup of coffee and it would be great if we all could open our hearts to give that much with a message of love and hope. She is in the hospital and she has been fighting for her life, and while there she is still inspiring us with her strength and great faith. She teaches us all about love, and we are all better for knowing her.

KIMMY’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE FUND, GIVE TO SAY I LOVE YOU

 

Max Aminian, I AM Somebody

 

 

 

 

Please watch Max Aminian’s video. He reminds me so much of my son Jared. Jared would have graduated this year as well. Jared and I were also best friends, and mold took all of that away. The last 11 months of Jared’s life were sheer hell, and this reminds me of all of that. It reminds me to keep fighting and it reminds me that we need to stand up together and share our stories. I am so insanely proud of Max for being so open about his journey. His mother is amazing as well and her video we featured a few months back. Karen you raised an amazing young man and I am sorry for the years the two of you lost in mold. We can never get those years back. I only hope that our stories can somehow rewrite the wrongs of mold and help us change the future. I am determined to rise up again, nothing can stop me, and its people like Max that help me to do that! Thank you Max, wish you could have met Jared, you guys would have gotten along well…

Cathy Dubick, I AM Somebody

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(Cathy is on the right with the white dress)

Cathy is a very special friend of mine who lives in Florida. We became close in this mold battle. She lost a sister to ovarian cancer and so we have also connected through our loss and our faith. She is an amazing woman, who is both passionate and intelligent, and that is a powerful mix. Yet more importantly she has a heart of gold…

Cathy recently found out she has the dreaded mold gene, 7-3-53. It confirmed for her why she is sick. This has caused her to be determined to find her way out of mold no matter how hard that might be. She refuses to give up the fight, because she has hopes and dreams she can’t wait to pursue! I told her we were long lost sister’s cause we share a very rare blood type, and I truly mean it, she is family! She is my sister in mold and in Christ. I am blessed to know her and we are gonna to meet up in January and take on this cause in Florida!! I love her, and am praying she can get out of mold and get her life back cause we have work to do! You hear that sister, we have to work to do, so praying for God’s healing hand to be upon you, in Jesus’s name!! He is gonna do a mighty work in you!

Lessons I Learned on Restoration Island

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Some people are just destined to do what they do. Well, my friend Ricardo Garza was destined to bringing healing to the nations. This is why he went to Medical School to become a Doctor. Tragically his studies were cut short due to mold illness and lyme. We all can find our story in his story, we all lost something. I recall my own tragedy. I was only two semesters shy of graduating with my Master’s in Mental Health when we were struck with toxic mold illness. Ironically I wanted to be a victims advocate when I graduated. Even my son died knowing what he wanted to do, Jared simply wanted to be somebody. In death and in life, he was….

This illness robs us of who were are, it robs us of our identity. Yet we still have our calling, it was placed upon us long ago, and it stands even when we cannot. Through our loss God has a way of showing us the silver lining in the clouds, and revealing His plan for our lives. I have to admit there have been days where I want to forget this battle, but it is his voice, the voice of my son, that keeps me moving forward.

Jared knew about Restoration Island and he thought one day we would all make it there. I remember him laughing in the car on the way back from California, saying “Do they know it is not a real island? Yes, it was the island that was created in our darkest hours. It was the dream that we all shared. We all pretended, yes grown adults, we pretended to be on this island. An island free of mold and free of illness. It was the greatest escape of our lives. We felt the sun rays, we heard the ocean tides go in and out and all was with our souls. For that moment none of us were living in mold, or recovering from mold. None of us were bed ridden. We were out swimming or laying by the pool with friends. We were on Restoration Island and everything was good there, everything was exactly as it should be. Except for those few folks who misbehaved and were sent to the “other” island. 😉 We were all friends, but in many ways we became more than friends we were family. Someone was always out there by the fire to talk. Someone was always there to make you laugh.

We played out our fears of a contaminated island, and how we could decontaminate new arrivals to the island. We laughed at ourselves, and the seriousness of “the mold life” faded. Suddenly we were no longer isolated from the world, we had each other. I guess tonight I realize just what Restoration Island taught me in the end. I am reminded that we need to have more island moments. We all need to stop and pause for our daily escape and our daily laugh. Even in the midst of darkness we can create happiness and joy. Some of those island folks we don’t see much of these days, and we miss them. We miss the way we used to be. Some of them healed and moved on and some have taken new paths, but I like to think each of us smiles when we remember the good old days on the island, where our troubles where swept away momentarily by the tide…

For those who are literally going on this island trip, God bless you, and may you find healing in the caribbean waters, just as we did!!! Ricky has made the island dream come true, and he was born to do this. Sure Facebook made him change his name, but all of us still know that his real name will always be “Caribbean Ricky.”

Six individuals are able to go on this trip with Ricky. They are still in need of a wheelchair and other provisions. So, Please support the dream!

https://www.gofundme.com/2t4n9r98

Moldies Call to Action: Email The Beast

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The Daily Beast’s Farah Khan recently wrote the controversial article “Your not a doctor, Why is the Internet so Obsessed with Toxic Mold?” It seemed to come out of left field. I later learned it came straight out of 2006. 

Sharon Kramer, who has been on the front lines fighting the scientific fraud issue that, “toxic mold does not harm” consistently states the exact literature Kahn chose to cite in her recent article was used by defense lawyers as a weapon of mass destruction in toxic mold cases years ago. It is and always has been a heavily criticized publication. This source of information is also severely outdated. Not only was it published over 10 years ago it has also been sunsetted. I asked Sharon to explain what sunsetted meant. She said “Any defense attorney or expert who would try to hold it out in court as current accepted science, would have egg on their face. They’d get discredited.” 

Sharon Kramer writes to the The Daily Beast

The advice this doctor is giving is out of date and dangerous to promote as current accepted science.  It doesn’t appear that she even read much before she wrote — including the references she cited. It states at the bottom of the very last page, “AAAAI Position Statements and Work Group Reports are not to be considered to reflect current AAAAI standards or policy after five years from the date of publication. For reference only. February 2006.”

Kahn tells readers that “an internet search for ‘toxic mold’ will result in hundreds of scary warnings and ‘studies,’ but few are based in science—and many are motivated by profit.”  

Kahn not only dismisses hundreds of studies she also dismisses her patient who is concerned toxic mold might be causing his liver condition. This patient asks a valid question,  “Doc, do you think any of this has to do with the mold that was all over my old apartment building?” She says “This was not the first—and certainly won’t be the last—patient to ask about mold. Ultimately, I told this patient the same thing I told all the others: Mold exposure was not responsible for your health problems.” 

Sharon Kramer writes to The Daily Beast

“Also, I believe it’s generally accepted knowledge that aspergillus is a common fungus found in water damaged buildings and it does have the capability to cause liver damage.  This would be particularly true if one’s immune system and liver were already (immuno) compromised from alcohol consumption.”

Dr. Janette Hope who happens to be our mold doctor, wrote a journal article which stated, Aflatoxin is the leading cause of liver cancer in many developing countries. Hope is a top environmental doctor and was in the top 3% of her class at UCLA.   Dr Hope Journal Article 

I think it is important to note that Kahn is doing her endocrinology fellowship at Emory, a top research university. They have very close ties and work closely with the CDC.  Emory Collaboration with CDC  

Many mold victims wanted to respond to this article, but comments are disabled for this post. So we will have to resort to writing the editor. 

editorial@thedailybeast.com

Daily Beast Article-Farah Kahn

 

Marco Rubio The Toxic Mold Savior

 

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Let’s face it mold victims need a savior. They need leaders to take a stand and few are willing. I think Marco Rubio would agree that the Lord is our ultimate Savior. Yet as I look at Rubio I am reminded that God calls certain fearless leaders to take bold stands against the powers that be. Rubio has been called to stand up for those impacted by poor housing conditions. This Senator heard about tenants in Florida coming together to demand action in regards to their poor housing conditions in HUD funded properties. He heard the cries of the people in the state he serves and he did his job and actually went out to take a look. What he found was deplorable, unsafe, and deadly living conditions. He stated the air “reaked of mold.” He pled their cause when noone else would, and he demanded an investigation. Upon further investigation he discovered fraud, cover ups, and rampant neglect and he vowed to hold them responsible. Then he informed the public that he wanted to hear from witnesses in regards to the fraud and neglect in government funded housing.

When the apartment heard Rubio was coming they did cosmetic repairs to cover the horrors that existed, but the dangers could not be hidden. One community received a high score of 90/100 from HUD inspectors before his visit. Interestingly a week after he visited the property they reinspected and the score was now a 48/100. A failing score, and they SUDDENLY found 86 life threatening deficiencies. I think we ought to call that “The Rubio Effect!” In fact The Rubio Effect cleared a courthouse he worked in due to mold and illness, and a whopping 32 million dollars and it will be back in business. I guess that is the reason landlords such as these fail to provide safe housing, it is simply too expensive. But in these cases you then have to ask, where are these tax dollars going? Rubio is asking these same questions.

So what can we do to help? Rubio is sponsoring a Bill called HUD Inspection Process & Enforcement Reform Act of 2016. This deserves our attention and our respect. This is the start, its a federal law, which means it will benefit every state, not just Florida. He is also co-sponsoring a Bill with Bill Nelson called the Housing Accountability Act of 2016.

Now I know what you are thinking.. I wish Rubio could be our next president!! Well, that race is over, but he is running for Senate. He said “I’m gonna serve in the senate for the next six years, God willing.” Some people don’t want him in, he is a threat. He is a warrior. He stands for what we all believe in, and he is a politician we can count on in this Mold War! Please let us all support this mission, and let us thank Mr Rubio for his efforts to secure safer housing.

 

 

 

The Fungus Carrying Ambrosia Beetle Threatens Trees Everywhere

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Ambrosia beetles are seeking to destroy trees around the world. These beetles dig into the heart of the tree and plant fungus. Their mission can only be described as one of sheer and complete destruction. They are literally “strangling” the trees of life.

Trees that had stood tall and powerful for hundreds of years, withstanding the winds, rains, and every act of nature, are now dying within a month’s time from a little bit of fungus. It is alarming.  Yet, what is more alarming is how easily they can then cross contaminate and infect other trees. Researchers have discovered that the process of removing the infected tree is not that simple either, as they have to take precautions in an effort not to infect surrounding trees. Ideally every tree within 100 yards of the infected tree should be taken down. These beetles are a serious threat to Hawaii’s water supply and a very serious concern.

Take a listen to the Senator of Hawaii discussing this, It’s very moving  

As we battle the fungus in our lives, we have to consider that trees, crops, and animals are also being affected around the world. It seems that nothing and noone is immune to this now.

Beetles That Carry Fungus are Killing Trees Around the World

California Fungus Carrying Beetle Killing Trees  “These beetles have a strange M.O. They don’t eat wood, like termites; instead, they drill circular tunnels toward the heart of the tree. They carry fungal spores in their mouths and sow them like seeds as they go. Then they harvest the fungus to feed their larvae. It’s a deadly partnership: The beetles attack, but the fungus also helps to kill, colonizing the wood tissue and spreading through the plant.”

Ambrosia Beetles Causing Fungus Destroying Avocado Trees  “Nine lineages of Fusarium were found to be associated with ambrosia beetles, and four of those nine have been linked with the destruction of avocado trees in the Florida, California, Israel and Australia. Matthew Kasson, who recently received his doctorate in forest pathology from Penn State, said that the ambrosia beetle infestation is a global concern because the beetles can be introduced into wood pallets that are transported around the world by cargo ships.”

Hard to Kill Tree of Heaven Likely Infected by Ambrosia Beetles “Davis described hundreds, if not thousands, of dying and dead tree-of-heaven in the area, which is very unusual, because tree-of-heaven is very hard to kill. The researchers also noticed a number of Ambrosia beetles near the infected stands, leading them to theorize that the fungus, often carried through the forests by beetles, was involved in the tree deaths. The Ambrosia beetles may explain some of the long-range spread of the disease; one theory is that the beetles feed on an infected tree and then take those spores to another healthy tree, which could be miles away.”

Hawaii Tree Killing Fungus Beetles  “Experts are pointing to the ambrosia beetle as the likely spreaders of ohia death, the disease currently threatening Hawaii’s water supply and endangered native bird population.”

Beetle’s Killing California Trees  “Although the beetle infests trees in many parts of Southeast Asia, it does not run rampant there the way it has in Southern California. Eskalen and Stouthamer suspect it has predators there that keep it in check naturally, and they’ve traveled to Vietnam and Taiwan to search for them. Finding them would just be the first step. Before they could bring them to California, they’d have to study them there to ensure they don’t attack the state’s beneficial native insects. In the short term, the best-case scenario for UCI is to manage the pest without allowing it to spread. With some 30,000 trees remaining on campus, Demerjian is prepared for a lengthy fight.“This is going to be a pest that we’re going to have to deal with for many years,” he said.”

Cross Contamination in Nature

Please Check out This Link To Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture Discussing Rapid Ohia Death  

  • Do not transport wood of affected Ohia trees to other areas.
  • Clean and sanitize all tools with freshly prepared 10% solution of chlorine bleach and water or by using a 70% rubbing alcohol solution.
  • Vehicles used off-road in infected forest areas should be thoroughly cleaned so as not to carry contaminated soil to healthy forests. Concerned areas include wheels threads and undercarriage of vehicles.
  • Shoes, tools, and clothing used in infected forests should also be cleaned, especially before being used in healthy forests.

Fears of Fungus Spreading To Another Island  “It basically plugs up the sap wood so that the tree basically is strangled to death by the fungus and that’s why we see the leaves turning brown so quickly. The fungus is plugging up the trees ability to transport water,” said Dr. Flint Hughes, an Ecosystem Ecologist with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.The disease spreads so quickly, officials say once the leaves start turning brown the entire tree dies within about a month. It’s not the first time experts have encountered the fungus in Hawai’i, but they’ve never seen it attack ‘ohia before. “It’s very important not to take diseased or fallen wood into other locations and really try to limit the spread of any kind of firewood or wood posts. It could be managed with sanitation,” described Keith. Officials say right now the focus is preventing the fungus from spreading to another island. They say there have been reports of some trees exhibiting symptoms of disease on Maui, but there have not been any confirmed ‘ohia deaths.”

Small Pine Beetle Injecting NJ Trees with Fungus  “Rich Reenstra, the Ocean County forester, says the southern pine beetle is the size of a grain of rice. It bores into a tree’s bark to feed and breed, injecting a fungus that looks like a dark line.” That fungus actually girdles the tree and kills below the bark the tree’s ability to transport water,” Reenstra said. The beetle’s basically starve the tree, killing its leaves and causing bare branches. The trees try to fight back pushing the invaders out in a sticky ball of sap, but it doesn’t always work. Ideally, crews should be taking down not just a diseased tree, but every tree within a hundred foot radius. But, at this point, the county is not going that far.”

Quarantine Order for Boxwood Blight  “The order, which appears in the June 25 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, puts parameters in place to minimize the spread and impact of the Calonectria pseudonaviculatum fungus. This fungus causes blight in all types and ages of Buxus species. The order allows “any property, facility, premise, place or area where boxwood blight is confirmed” to be quarantined. It also restricts the movement of any material or object that may carry or spread the fungus both within the state and from other states, including a provision for inspection of material from other states and a requirement that the originating state certify that the shipper meets Pennsylvania standards before plants are allowed to enter for resale distribution.”