Following are the stories of more than 25 individuals who have discussed their experiences with toxic mold publicly.
For more stories about mold illness and mold avoidance, see the section of the Paradigm Change website on How I Survived Toxic Mold.
Dave is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and cloud computing guru who spent 15 years and $300,000 recovering from illness experienced subsequent to a Stachybotrys exposure in his home. His Bulletproof blog essays and videos frequently focus on the debilitating effects of toxins in food, and his coffee and other food products are guaranteed to be low in mycotoxins. He also frequently has addressed the topic of environmental toxic mold. His documentary movie on the the negative effects of environmental toxic mold illness – titled “Moldy” – was released in June 2015.
Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel
Best-selling health author and actress Suzanne Somers wrote extensively about the dangers of toxic mold in her newest book, Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick. Suzanne and her husband both became very ill a number of years ago after moving into a luxurious rental home that turned out to be filled with Stachybotrys – he experienced severe neurological problems and she contracted the fungal infection Valley Fever (misdiagnosed as cancer). Later, Suzanne’s granddaughter became very sick from a mold exposure and subsequent Lyme infection. After getting away from the mold exposures and detoxing intensively for an extended period of time, all three are now much improved. Suzanne previously shared an online bonus chapter about mold for her book Bombshell and also later blogged about the dangers of toxic mold subsequent to Hurricane Sandy. More links can be found on this page of the Paradigm Change website.
Andrea Fabry, her husband and their nine children all were made very ill (each in different ways) as a result of living in a moldy Colorado home. The family moved to a small rental house in a rural area of Arizona in 2008, leaving all their possessions behind. Her natural living blog It Takes Time details the family’s experiences as they have moved back toward health. Andrea also shares information about healthful living choices on her not-for-profit website momsAWARE and in monthly Toxic Talk Tuesday broadcasts with her husband, radio talk show host Chris Fabry. The family’s mold nightmare was featured in a news segment on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 2009. Their Just So line of super-pure soaps and other products is designed specifically for people with chemical sensitivities.
Dr. Joseph P. Klein, M.D.
Joe Klein, an orthopedic surgeon, became hyperreactive to tiny amounts of Stachybotrys toxins after a bathroom renovation in his southern California home uncovered a colony of the mold growing inside the wall in the early 2000’s. He lived in a tent in his backyard for a week, then abandoned his house and possessions and stayed in 40 different hotel rooms attempting to get clear. He also became hyperreactive to smoke, interfering with his ability to work in the operating room. More than a dozen years later, he continues to do well as long as he scrupulously avoids certain mold toxins and smoke. His website and blog (developed in 2001-2002) detail his experiences and provide information that is still very relevant for others with the same problem.
Pat Sullivan is a software entrepreneur and creator of the best-selling ACT! selling contact manager program. A longtime sufferer of chronic illness, he published a book called Wellness Piece by Piece: How a Successful Entrepreneur Discovered the Pieces to His Chronic Health Puzzle in 2005 and also founded the supplement company Jigsaw Health. Subsequently he concluded that mold illness was a substantial part of his health issues and blogged extensively about the topic. He now is feeling healthy and living a normal life, he reports.
Journalist Jill Neimark (who has suffered from mold-related illness, chronic Lyme disease and MCS) became ill while living in a particularly bad apartment in New York City. In 2014, she published a thought-provoking essay in Aeon (an online literary magazine) about how she was changed for the better both physically and spiritually as a result of several years of frequent tent camping in order to avoid small amounts of toxic mold as well as chemical toxins. Jill is a contributing editor to Discover magazine and also is a published poet, novelist and children’s book author.
James Baber is a highly successful executive management consultant who discussed his experience with being made sick by toxic mold in an interview with Dave Asprey on Bulletproof Radio in early 2015. The exposure was in a brand-new, LEEDS-certified, very expensive apartment in New York City overlooking Central Park. After many specialists failed to determine the cause of his health issues, James figured it out himself. He is now much recovered.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, D.O.
Bestselling author and popular natural health blogger Joe Mercola became interested in the topic of toxic mold after he spent $30,000 remediating a problem with it in his own home. He has posted several articles and videos on the topic, interviewing experts such as mold illness physician and researcher Ritchie Shoemaker; toxicologist Jack Thrasher; and authors/mold victims Kurt and Lee Ann Billings.
Journalist Julie Rehmeyer – who described herself as nearly recovered from M.E. – has written about her experiences with mold avoidance in The New York Times, in the Washington Post, and in a Paradigm Change blog article. She described her experiences moving toward recovery in more detail in a Health Rising interview.
Actress and human rights activist Bianca Jagger did battle for a number of years with the landlord of her rent-stabilized New York City apartment, which she said had a severe toxic mold problem that made her seriously ill. New York Magazine covered the story in 2004. In 2007, the Washington Post reported a court decision focusing on Jagger’s non-status as a permanent resident of the U.S. had resulted in her being evicted from the apartment and forced to pay back rent and her landlord’s legal fees. More details of her health issues are included in the introduction of Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s book Mold Warriors.
A.M. Runyan first started experiencing health symptoms while in high school. Her health deteriorated dramatically soon after she graduated from college, subsequent to a Lyme infection and an exposure to a very moldy building. In Spring 2013, she moved from Massachusetts to the western half of the U.S. and began telecommuting to her existing job for health reasons. She is the author of the book Gifted and Sick, which focuses on the unique challenges that especially high-functioning people face when they become afflicted with chronic multisystemic illnesses. She also has a treatment website.
Chris Kresser runs a top-ranked biohacker health site and is a recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He discussed his own mold-related health issues in 2015 in a video interview with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker and in an article called “Five Things You Should Know About Toxic Mold Illness.”
Singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor reported missing almost three years of school starting in sixth grade due to mold in her school in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Part of her family ultimately moved three hours away so that she could resume her schooling.
Jared and his family were made sick by toxic mold in their home when he was in early high school. After moving out of the home and pursuing treatment, Jared worked to draw attention to the problem of mold by speaking about his family’s experiences to local government officials in their town of Naples, Florida. Discouraged about his illness, Jared took his own life on August 16, 2015. He was only 17.
Other well-known individuals who have made news over issues related to mold infestations have included Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kourtney Kardashian, Lou Ferrigno, Star Jones and Katrina Parker.