Karen, I AM Somebody

Art and photo credit by Karen (along with the video)

Karen is a mold warrior.  Exposure at work made her sick.  She felt like she was going to die.  Traditional doctors dismissed her illness as “stress”.  She used retirement funds to get help and saw a mold doctor.  She was diagnosed with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity).  She describes brain swelling and inflammation as “a very bad thing” when exposed to mold, gasoline, cigarette smoke, and perfume.  Her painting above is titled “Brain On Fire”.  Many environmentally poisoned individuals describe the brain inflammation in this way.

This video also paints the picture of the chaos, the fear, the panic and the solitude many mold sick people endure.  All in an effort to seek safe housing and safe air.  Many are alone and limited in their ability to participate in the things that used to bring them joy.  But, despite the struggle, or perhaps even because of the struggle, Karen is definitely somebody.


My Son Is Somebody

Art & photo by: m. sioux, mold survivor.

As parents of a “normal” child  who acutely became chronically ill, we searched high and low for answers.  We went to some of “the best” doctors.  Some of them didn’t even look at us but rather focused on their computer screen and filling in the boxes. Some of them chanted the ole “If you hear hoof prints look for horses not zebras”.  Guess what doctors… some of your patients are zebras.  And you are misdiagnosing them and improperly medicating them.  Do no harm, Doctor. Do no harm.



Is Toxic Mold A Factor in Your ME/CFS?

CFS beach


Studies of ME/CFS 

  • 2013 study ME/CFS patients 93% of participants  (104 out of 112) had at least one mycotoxin in their urine. 
  •  2015 UK Study 1 in 50 16 year olds are affected with ME/CFS
  • Teens missed average of more than a half a day of school a week
  • Girls 2x more likely to be diagnosed with ME/CFS
  • Most often occurred in families experiencing adversity, (poor housing, financial, other stressors)
  • 94% of children with CFS/ME reported being disbelieved



Erik Johnson Was Right


Erik Johnson knew toxic mold was a significant factor in his illness. He found clusters of mystery malady in locations where toxic mold was lurking and told researchers to study the link between CFS and toxic mold way back in the 1980’s. Erik served as a prototype for the Holmes CFS definition, as he was one of the 160 who became ill in the Lake Tahoe incident.


Erik walked out of the ampligen program, an experimental immune modulating drug treatment for CFS, to try mold avoidance instead, and within six months, climbed Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA, to demonstrate his level of recovery. In the years since, has taken many people with CFS on a “CFS History Mold Tour” and showed them how to do the same.


Feedback from Mold Exposed

  • We polled 144 Facebook Toxic Mold Support Group Members
  • 91% of those polled believed that their exposure to toxic mold played a significant role in their development of ME/CFS.
  • 8% Percent was unsure if mold had played a significant role
  • 1% percent felt that mold was not a significant factor in their development of ME/CFS.

Of course this does not mean mold is ALWAYS a significant factor or the ONLY factor in ME/CFS. What it does tell us is that mold CAN be a cause and needs to be considered by those who have ME/CFS. Toxic mold can be hidden and despite what many think toxic mold can even be lurking in new homes, it can be behind walls, and it can be directly affecting your health. Have you tested your environment to see if it is causing your symptoms? It could be just that simple..


Online Poll- Which Magnesium Works Best?

Three Toxic Mold Support Groups voted Magnesium their #1 supplement to treat Mold Illness.

Yet with so many available forms, we needed to know more! So we polled two Facebook Groups Magnesium Advocacy Group and and a Toxic Mold Support Group.


Magnesium Glycinate Was the Winner!

  1. Glycinate
  2. Malate

It is believed that the majority of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and this mineral it is vital because it is used by EVERY organ in your body.

Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 22 Medical Conditions

  1. Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  2. Asthma
  3. Blood Clots
  4. Bowel Diseases
  5. Cystitis
  6. Depression
  7. Detoxification
  8. Diabetes
  9. Fatigue
  10. Heart Disease
  11. Hypertension
  12. Hypoglycemia
  13. Insomnia
  14. Kidney Disease
  15. Liver Disease
  16. Migraine
  17. Fibromyalgia
  18. Nerve Problems
  19. PMS
  20. Raynauds
  21. Osteoperosis
  22. Tooth Decay

While Magnesium was found to be Moldies #1 Supplement Ironically Epsom Salt, a form or magnesium, was found to be #4!

Epsom Salt baths or foot baths is another ways to improve magnesium. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate and absorbs through your skin. Magnesium oil can also be used for topical application.

Remember Magnesium is the primary ingredient in laxatives, so it is great if you are taking binders to detox mold as this can cause constipation, but also be careful and don’t over do it. 😉[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Igniting the Torch


By Margaret Novins

As noted in the entry in September, Sher Bailey passed the torch of her Facebook group, Black Mold Symptoms, to Sandy and myself. We asked Kelli to join our team. This month Sher offered an opportunity to take over this website.

First it needs to be stated that there is no personal gain involved in this venture. If funds are generated in the future, it will be fully disclosed and transparent. Any profits will be used for the good of the mold sick community. Currently, running this site is an expense and a labor of love. We don’t advocate or discourage any medical or environmental protocols. Individuals are expected to make decisions on a personal level. A variety of information will be shared here.

Sher did a wonderful job of bringing awareness to the topic of toxic mold over the past year. Her message was far reaching. She continues to share her journey on her website sherbailey.com. In fact, we encourage people to read where she is at in her journey now. She recently posted about depression so devastating it resulted in attempted suicide.  She is focused again on healing. See http://sherbailey.com/depression/

Mold and mycotoxin poisoning can cause depression. Dr. Mary Ackerley is an integrative psychiatrist who presented the keynote address at the Surviving Mold conference in November titled “Brain on Fire”. She addresses depression as an illness resulting from chronic inflammation and she identifies one of the conditions leading to this inflammation as mold exposure.

Sadly, Kelli knows this all too well. Part of her family’s mold journey includes not only losing her health, her home and her possessions, but she also lost her son Jared. You see… he took his own life at the age of 17. It can’t be denied that mold was a tragic part of his story. He even testified at a senate hearing about the horrible impact mold had on his family. Before Jared died he told his mom “I want to be somebody”.

Jared, you definitely are somebody. Your mom will make sure your story brings light to the darkness of this topic. Awareness. Hope. Change. Consider the torch ignited.

Passing the Torch

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]When I was first diagnosed with a toxic mold illness, I was so incredibly relieved to have a name for what was wrong with me that I wanted to tell the world. I blogged about it, it went viral, and somehow in the midst of trying to get myself well I wound up feeling responsible to help the hundreds of people who contacted me also get well.

I expected it to be as simple as sharing my personal experience and telling people about Dr. Brewer’s published, peer-reviewed work. Surely intelligent, thinking people would be able to read his research for themselves, discuss it with their docs, and together make decisions about what to do next, I thought.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I was attacked by some women with Fibromyalgia who wanted me to know what a royal bitch I was for daring to suggest the syndrome could, in some cases, possibly be caused by something in the environment.

I was accused of being on the payroll of my doc (what an utterly dumbass claim, by the way), and of getting money from Real Time Lab for each patient I sent their way. For the record, my ONLY affiliation with RLT was that they were the lab that did my urine test and had been vetted by Dr. Brewer. I never received so much as a complimentary letter opener from them.

And, then there was the Shoemaker camp. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker is a man who was (at one time) a doctor who rightly is credited for moving the cause of mold-related illness forward.

Numerous people say he’s helped them, and some credit him with saving their lives. I would never presume to discount any of their experiences.

Having said that, there is no published, peer-reviewed body of work to support any of his treatments. He’s been accused of the use of dangerous cholestyramine, offering online diagnostic tests, unnecessary testing, and the use of off label potentially toxic drugs.

Is he a quack? Or is he a genius? I don’t know. I just know there is too much controversy surrounding his methods and him as a person for me to feel good about sending hurting people to one of his colleagues.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]On top of all the ugliness directed at me personally, there are scam artists who are absolutely polluting the Facebook group. They are slick, and detailed, and they are paid well to do what they do…

which is to create Facebook accounts that appear to be absolutely real, join Facebook groups like mine, ingratiate themselves into the group by having personal interactions with people that are deemed helpful, and all the while they are working for pharmaceutical companies, labs, remediation companies, lawyers, and more.

It’s insidious and there is no way to catch all of them. They spread lies, disinformation, and strife.

If you’re in a Facebook group that is health-related, you’ve encountered them although you likely never knew. You thought you were talking to a Mom in Miami, or a Grandma in New York, or maybe a super helpful Dad in Louisiana.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]So here I am in the midst of all of this, myself still healing and taking my treatments, spending time trying to deal with what’s happening in the Facebook group.

It’s just not something I can continue to do. That’s why I’m handing off the group to two ladies who are up for the job.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Meet Sandy Wolfe and Margaret Novins, the new administrators of the Facebook group Black Mold Symptoms.

Meet Margaret: 

I’m the mother of a teenage boy who suddenly became ill (bed bound) last year for 7 months. Mostly neuro symptoms. We went to 50 healthcare providers, 4 university hospitals. No answers. An ND suggested testing the house for mold. Positive. Did extensive remediation. Son improved. Returned to school. Relapsed. Found school to be toxic. Dropped out of school HS. Now participating in online college at age 16. Working part time. Learning to drive. Recovering. Briefly took oral antifungals. Currently practicing avoidance. No protocol.

Meet Sandy:

I run Toxic Mold for Dummies and admin Got Mold and a couple of the kid’s mold boards. (Read more.)

I trust that these ladies care as much about “the cause” as do I, and that the health and wellness of group members matter as much to them as to me. You’ll be in good hands.

I’ll still write here from time to time and let you know of my progress and what I’m learning about this illness. You can sign up for the newsletter if you want to hear from me. Know that I’m thinking of all of you. YOU are so important to me.

With love,




6 Things You Can Do With Fresh Cherries

(This post includes affiliate links.)

Arthritis.org reports that the benefits of cherries for people who experience joint pain due to arthritis is often improved with the use of tart cherries, cherry juice & cherry capsules. Researchers at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center reported that patients who consumed two 8-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice daily for 6 weeks experienced a significant improvement in pain, stiffness and physical function.

Even though I am diagnosed with a toxic mold illness and not arthritis, I’m definitely going to try tart cherries. Join pain and stiffness is one of the worst things about having a mold-related illness. If you’re reading this, I expect you know exactly what I mean.

Prevention.com shares more hopeful news about tart cherries. Apparently they can help with sleep! “The juice gave participants an average of 84 more minutes of sleep each night compared to the placebo. Why? The fruit is naturally rich in melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleepiness) and tryptophan, an amino acid the body uses to create even more melatonin.”

Thanks to my sponsor Traverse Bay Farms, you can try tart cherry juice and get free shipping by clicking here:

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6 Things You Can Do With Fresh Cherries