Our family of eleven unknowingly moved into a home ridden with toxic mold. As our health deteriorated, we slowly uncovered the truth about the connection between health and the indoor environment.
OUR TOXIC MOLD EXPOSURE
June 2000. Chris, our eight children, and I move from a small 1,800-square-foot home in suburban Chicago to an expansive, relatively new 5,500-square-foot home in Monument, Colorado. We choose Colorado for its beauty and proximity to Chris’ writing colleagues.
June 2001 through May 2007. Our ninth child, Brandon James, is born in June 2001. We begin to see some medical issues arise. Our oldest daughter develops a severe nut allergy. Our fourth daughter is diagnosed with complex partial seizure disorder. Other problems arise in the family, such as mild hearing loss, heavy menstrual bleeding, rashes, nickel allergies, swollen adenoids, and a dog with diabetes. We make no association with our home.
April 2007. Our 11-year-old son, Reagan, has a skin biopsy for a mysterious rash in the form of small bumps on his elbows and other joints. A dermatologist cannot diagnose the cause.
May 9, 2007 (the day before Mother’s Day). In the process of preparing for carpets to be cleaned in our downstairs level, I notice a brown spot in the corner of our oldest daughter’s room. It is located directly behind a bathroom. After uncovering the spot and cutting into the wall, we discover black mold. (We learn much later that cutting into the wall caused the spores to be released, thereby putting the family at risk.) We call a mold remediation team to diagnose and treat it. They do not wear masks and do not ventilate the contaminated air. They assure us there is no risk or danger. We believe them. (Fourteen months later I would read: “Remediators who are not wearing any face, mouth, hand, or body protection in the midst of visible mold or moldy odors are untrained and should be asked to leave. You will be hurt by their lack of training.”)
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