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.
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.