In terms of the financial devastation that it can cause, toxic mold illness is a really terrible disease.
Toxic mold can cause people to lose their homes or to have to spend huge amounts of money remediating them. Insurance rarely pays much of the cost (and very often pays nothing).
In addition, almost everyone with toxic mold illness becomes hyperreactive to the possessions that were contaminated by the home as well as to the home itself. Often all possessions must be discarded in order to make any progress back toward wellness.
Sometimes people who have been poisoned by the mold in their homes or workplaces find that their entire local area has become a problem for them and that they need to move to a different part of the country or world in order to recover much of their health.
In many cases, inexpensive housing is too moldy for these mold-injured individuals to tolerate. Bills for medical treatments often are an additional out-of-pocket expense.
And of course, many people who have been poisoned by toxic mold are too sick to work very much or at all during this particularly difficult time in their lives.
While no one ever wants to have to ask others for money, this is an illness that has the potential of wiping out the finances of anyone, no matter how responsible they have been in the past and no matter how frugal they are currently being.
Therefore, individuals affected by toxic mold illness very often must turn to their families, friends, colleagues or acquaintances to help to support them in their time of need.
This page is designed to allow people who need to raise funds to get back on their feet to demonstrate to the other people in their lives that financial problems are a common occurrence in this sort of disease and that the generosity of others can make a big difference in terms of the likelihood that they will be able to become functional again.
Rarely is it the case that mold illness survivors have enough money left to help others financially. However, hopefully everyone in this illness community will be especially kind from an emotional point of view to those who currently are in the situation where funds need to be raised, since this can be an especially difficult time in the recovery process.
Best of luck to all the mold illness victims featured on this page and to everyone else working to recover from this illness.
Chris Copeland formerly worked as an editor and then became sick after an exposure to black mold.
She lives in Myrtle Beach, SC, and is raising money to see a doctor.
Since she has been able to find tolerable housing, she would like to purchase a custom-made tiny house or aluminum camper.
In early 2014, Katie Steward was very sick with many different symptoms and had been told by her physician that she had only weeks left to live.
The following week, she left her moldy environment by private ambulance and traveled to another part of the UK. She made enough progress that she then was able to move to Spain, which has been suggested by many people (including Dr. Sarah Myhill, a physician specializing in ME/CFS) as a preferential location.
While living in Spain and receiving guidance from mold avoidance pioneer Erik Johnson, Katie has improved a good deal. However, she is still very negatively affected on some days by the agricultural chemicals used there and so is raising money so that she can move to a more pristine location in the US.
Pictured: Katie just after a mold exposure (left) and after spending some time in the pristine air on a good day.
Sara is 32 years old and has been ill with mold illness a third of her life. After a long hard battle to have some joy and meaning in life the illness finally took the best of her and left her unable to take care of her one-year-old daughter or to do much of anything.
It has been only a few months since she found out it was the toxic mold causing all those horrible and debilitating symptoms. She now lives with a great deal of physical pain and impairment when exposed to mycotoxins and constant emotional pain due to the separation from her baby and the devastated state of her relationships.
She wants to raise money so that she can find a way to get away from the toxins that are making her very ill and detox (and maybe live in a different place) so that she can rebuild a life of meaning and joy again.
Susan has struggled with declining health for a number of years. She now has no job (and is unable to work), no money, and nowhere to go. She has been living with her parents who are just beginning to grasp the seriousness of how ill she is.
In addition to Lyme disease, she has mold illness and multiple chemical sensitivities. She experiences excruciating headaches daily, and fights dizziness, brain fog, heart palpitations, hives, and even anaphylaxsis, for which she has been hospitalized four times in recent weeks. Most recently, she was diagnosed with cancer.
Susan is need of money to pay for medical treatment as well as to move to a cleaner environment.
Jennifer and Travis first became ill after moving into a moldy apartment in 2010. The master bathroom ceiling fell in within a week after they signed the lease.
They then moved into another apartment that also turned out to have a toxic mold problem and ended up losing all their possessions.
Friends and family already have provided rent money, clothing, blankets and other help. They are holding this fundraiser to pay for medical treatment.
Melissa Bolton, her husband and their two daughters moved into their dream house in the Pacific Northwest in 2013. After months of unexplained illnesses, hospitalizations and symptoms, they decided to test their indoor air. The inspector said the toxic mold numbers were the highest they had ever seen.
The family wants to move into a safe, clean apartment in Colorado and to pay off medical costs incurred as a result of their illness.
The Jester family was made ill by a mold exposure in their home several years ago. The mom of the family, Sarah, was especially affected.
Eventually they concluded that they would do better in a pristine area of the southwest than in Alabama and decided to move out there.
Their fundraiser is designed to cover their expenses of getting settled in a better location.
Courtney is a 30-year-old nurse who has been struggling with mold toxicity for the past six years after being made sick living in an old renovated textile mill that had been made into apartment lofts. She is now so reactive to almost all buildings that she has not been able to find one tolerable enough to live in.
She currently is looking for tolerable housing in Massachusetts but would like to build a tiny home on a small plot of land.
Maryann is a longtime advocate for patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) who has written many science articles on the disease.
She founded the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Society of America, with a website that continues to serve as a valuable resource for those interested in this condition.
She recently published an article on circulatory impairments in the disease on the M.E. Advocacy website.
Maryann is raising money for home healthcare costs. Her fundraiser is included here because her work over the years has been of value to countless M.E. patients, many of whom have mold-related issues.
In order to be considered for inclusion on this page, those individuals with toxic mold illness who are holding fundraisers should supply the following pieces of information: 1) photograph (either of themselves or something related, e.g. the place where they are trying to move or the moldy house in which they can no longer live); 2) a paragraph of information briefly summarizing their story and stating what they are planning to use the money for; and 3) a link to their fundraiser website page. All fundraiser listings must include at least a first name of someone in the family. Please send these materials to: info at paradigmchange.me.
Links on this page are in orange (no underlines).