Piper Family Story
Our Mold story started in April of 2020 when we purchased our “dream home”. We moved so we could have a larger house to act as caregivers for my Alzheimer’s mother and have space to garden for our Organic food coop and café (our family business).
About 3 months after moving in my youngest (20yo) began having health problems. It started with Physical Motor tics then progressed to nose bleeds then seizures, My oldest (21yo) began with extreme insomnia and stomach problems. We noticed my Alzheimer mother was actually getting worse very quickly and began having kidney bladder problems as well as other odd behaviors. My husband and I started with neuropathy and my youngest and I began having severe sinus and lung problems. I also had a skin rash that wouldn’t go away. About 6 months after moving in my youngest was getting severe. She had regressed and was having problems with vision and hallucinations. Her motor tics were so severe she couldn’t hold water or a fork or knife any longer.
One night she threw herself on the floor and began crying and screaming hysterically “my brain is on fire make it stop!”.
That’s when I discovered she had PANS a brain inflammation condition and went looking for the cause. When I suggested mold, my husband said it wasn’t possible because we had the house inspected but we paid for the inspection anyway. We discovered we had a huge mold problem. We paid for professionals to remediate the house (we thought is was contained to the kitchen, bathrooms and utility room) and even paid for a new roof to be put on (b/c of leaking).
As the remediators opened walls they discovered the house had flooded during Hurricane Harvey (which wasn’t disclosed on the sellers list when buying the house). We found manufacture dated materials through the house suggesting they replaced sheetrock and floor but didn’t remediate. After 2 weeks of working on the house the professionals had to stop and told us to gut the house. We found mold in EVERY wall, ceiling and floor and it was enmeshed into the structural studs and the house could not be remediated. This is when it was deemed a tear-down and we were told our house would have to be bulldozed and we would have to throw away ALL our belongings due to contamination.
My family and I had “temporarily” moved out during the time of remediation and quickly realized we were homeless and had nothing to our name. We had to put my mother in an Alzheimer’s facility (which we never wanted or planed) and began gypsying around VERY sick. During this time my husband had to live in a tent in the yard of our mold house with our animals while we found couches and hotels to stay in. It was then that my husband had a mold induced sleepwalking incident (which had ever happened before) that almost took his life and his arm there at the house.
We quickly found a house to rent but by this point we had lost 3 of our pets (put down b/c of mold illnesses) ALL our belongings (every stick of furniture, photos every piece of clothing) and lost ALL 3 of our cars (the mold had contaminated them). But these losses were nothing compared to our health.
The list of chronic illnesses that have been turned on by the mold is extensive. My youngest has seizures every day that last 30-40mins and is 70% bedridden and now can’t read all due to PANS brain inflammation. She walks with a cane and also has a HOST of other diagnosis that plague her. She is so miserable she has made 2 attempts on her life because she has no quality of life and we have no money or insurance to get help. My oldest also has PANS along with severe MCAS and can only eat 8 foods without going into anaphylaxis. she also has a suspected connective tissue disorder now called EDS (which is painful and will shorten her life). My husband ended up being able to keep the arm but only has 30% feeling in it and can’t use it much. I have severe sinus and lung problems and will likely need surgery to extract a mold fungal ball from my sinuses.
We have no insurance and have depleted all our savings. Our medical bills are now over $153,000 and we have no way to pay them. Our supplements and medications cost about $1,500/month and my girls doctor. visits are about $500/month. Our families only income is our small community business and it is suffering b/c we are all too sick to be there to work. Both girls need a host of expensive testing including MRI’s , bloodwork and more.
We have never been in a position where we were the ones in need. Our family business and our family have always been the ones giving to others, and helping. In years past we have taking in homeless people, fed people in need, provided jobs for people out of work, and given herbal medicine to those in our community who needed it. But now we are the ones in need. We need enough money to get more testing done so we can be specific about our approach to our health. We also need money for rebuilding a tiny home for us to live in.
We are very grateful for those who have simply taken the time to read our story and would be grateful for anything at all that you could contribute as we work toward rebuilding our health and our lives. A prayer, A dollar, a resource, anything at all would be received with full gratitude.
We know there is hope-we just need a little help finding it.
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There will be a day when toxic mold is recognized and people won’t need financial assistance.
Until that day, help us give hope, through assistance, to one family at a time.