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Dear Mold Victim: I’m sending you a short description of my story, along with contact information and resources. Please feel free to call me with any questions that aren’t answered here. I know what it’s like to be sick and unable to solve the problem. I want to provide you the same support that people gave me when I needed it, such as the good people at HADD. If I’m helpful to you, pay it forward. There are many other victims out there now, and many future victims, until we get the word out and put a stop to substandard building.

If your mold problem is the result of negligent building practices PLEASE fill out a complaint at www.HADD.com. With statistics in one spot, we can have a better chance of getting the attention of media and lawmakers, and therefore making changes on a national level.

BACKGROUND We lived in a new house for 4 months before we found out it was moldy. We stayed even after we found out, because our builder told us that mold was no big deal. We moved out when my face went numb. If you are interested, these are reports on our story.

http://www.katu.com/team2/story.asp?ID=75559 http://www.romingerlegal.com/newsviewer.php?ppa=8oplo_Zlqssont%5BUfbt9K%22bfek%5C!

OUR SYMPTOMS We were sick the entire time we lived in the house, but attributed our illness to other causes. For example, the boys, who were two and four at the time, immediately experienced severe vomiting and diarrhea which we attributed to a flu virus. However, the diarrhea, while becoming slightly less severe, never cleared up the entire time we lived in the house. My heart would sometimes beat twice normal speed for several minutes at a time. I thought it must be some form of anxiety, although I didn’t feel anxious at the time. It’s as though my body was enacting the “fight or flight” response, which, in a way, it was. My body knew it was being poisoned. I just didn’t know it consciously yet. Other symptoms I experienced were depression, ringing ears, draining ears, hearing loss, fatigue, achiness, sweating (called “flushing”), coughing, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and probably a few more things I’ve forgotten.

My symptoms were nothing compared to what my boys experienced. Liam had been talking before we moved into the house. I remember him saying, “I like that” and “I want that”... appropriate for a two-year-old. After we moved into the house, he stopped talking altogether and didn’t begin again until we’d been out of the house for almost a year. Both boys had been potty training when we moved in, and that stopped as well. They initially lost weight, my two-year-old stopped sleeping through the night, they were lethargic, my four-year-old frequently would cry and say his legs hurt. He became compulsive about arranging his toys just so and would fall apart if he couldn’t achieve it, or if someone moved or disorganized it. Both stopped feeding themselves. Both became uncomfortable wearing clothes, having their hair washed or combed, or eating foods they’d formerly eaten. They’ve since been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and have auditory processing difficulties. They hear what is said but are unable to organize and interpret it in order to act on it. This is a major learning problem. They are easily overwhelmed by various stimuli, from what’s touching their skin to lights, noises, changes in routine or anything new. I may never know all that they’ve suffered. It is difficult to know what hurts a child who can’t talk. There was lots of crying, lots of lethargy, lots of irritability.

REPORTED MOLD SYMPTOMS Here is a list of symptoms associated with mold exposure taken from www.mold-help.org, a website I strongly recommend you study: * Respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, sinusitis * Difficulty swallowing, choking, spitting up (vomiting) mucous * Fibromyalgia * Hypersensitivity pneumonitis * Burning in the throat and lungs (similar to acid reflux and often misdiagnosed as such) * Asthmatic signs; wheezing, shortness in breath, coughing, burning in lungs, etc. * Irritable bowel syndrome (See fibromyalgia), nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pains * Bladder, liver, spleen, or kidney pain * Dark urine * Dirt-like taste in mouth, coated tongue * Food allergies/leaky gut syndrome/altered immunity * Memory loss; brain fog (See fibromyalgia), slurred speech, sometimes leading to dementia * Vision problems * Swollen lymph nodes * Large boils on neck (Often a sign of Anaphylaxis) * Thyroid irregularities * Headaches * Anxiety/depression (See fibromyalgia), heart palpitations - confusion, PTSD * Extreme blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides irregularities * Ringing in ears, balance problems, dizziness * Chronic fatigue * Intermittent face flushing; almost always systemic (Called the Mylar Flush) * Numbness in face and limbs, intermittent twitching * Night sweats and hot flashes (Especially around the head) * Multiple chemical sensitivity (See fibromyalgia) * Nose bleeds * Bruising easily * Rash or hives, formication', bloody lesions all over the skin (Often systemic, skin) * Reproductive system; infertility, changes in menstrual cycles * Sudden weight changes * Cancer * Hair loss * Joint/muscle stiffness and pain (See fibromyalgia) * Heart attack * Seizures * Inadvertent facial movements or extremity jerking * Hypersensitivity when re-exposed to molds, which can lead to anaphylaxis * Anaphylaxis upon re-exposure to mycotoxin producing molds * Death, in extreme cases

OUR SEARCH FOR HELP The problems didn’t end when we moved out. Some of the symptoms lessened or subsided. For example, I was able to clear up the diarrhea in a couple of months. The coughing stopped. The vomiting stopped. But the sensory problems, compulsiveness and impulsiveness in the boys continued to be severe. We held our oldest out of kindergarten an extra year to give him a chance to catch up. We carefully chose a small classroom in a private school. He only lasted three days. It was heartbreaking, and at that time we believed we may be headed for an Asperger’s diagnosis... Autism... something no parent wants to hear. I had been reading and researching all along to find ways to deal with our health difficulties. You can’t go to your local doctor and tell them you’ve been exposed to mold. They will refer you to an allergist or perscribe antihistimines. It is a much larger problem than that. We went to Dr. Joseph Morgan in Coos Bay who verified my mold exposure with blood tests. Dr. Michael Gray in Arizona and Dr. Vincent Marinkovich in California each gave us very helpful information. Dr. Gray basically spent a day educating us about how mold attacks the system. He perscribed a systemic antifungal for my son. Dr. Marinkovich put it into words that were very easy to understand. We learned that mold was and is actually living in our intestines, nasal passages and eustacian tubes (hence my hearing loss), and he gave us a nasal spray antifungal, which is slowly healing my hearing problem. But these doctors are a plane ride away and expensive. I needed someone nearby who would specifically address the children’s problems. When we started to suspect Autism diagnoses in our boys, I began specifically researching Autism treatment. My research led me to the DAN protocol. DAN stands for “Defeat Autism Now.” This is a group of professionals who meet periodically to discuss what’s working and not working in their treatment of Autism. They are MDs NDs, gastroenterologists, neurologists and more. What makes this group a little different from your local neighborhood doctor or allergist is that they acknowledge and study something called the “brain/gut connection.” http://www.autismwebsite.com/ari-lists/danus.html

This is where the Autism/mold connection occurs. I’m not a doctor, and I can’t explain this as well as the experts. This is the article that helped me understand (note the reference to mold!): THE ARTICLE The Candida Yeast-Autism Connection by Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Autism, Salem, Oregon. There is a great deal of evidence that a form of yeast, candida (rhymes with "Canada") albicans, may cause autism and may exacerbate many behavior and health problems in autistic individuals, especially those with late-onset autism. Scenario. Candida albicans belongs to the yeast family and is a single-cell fungus. This form of yeast is located in various parts of the body including the digestive tract. Generally speaking, benign microbes limit the amount of yeast in the intestinal tract, and thus, keep the yeast under control. However, exposure to antibiotics, especially repeated exposure, can destroy these microbes. This can result in an overgrowth of candida albicans. When the yeast multiplies, it releases toxins in the body; and these toxins are known to impair the central nervous system and the immune system. Some of the behavior problems which have been linked to an overgrowth of candida albicans include: confusion, hyperactivity, short attention span, lethargy, irritability, and aggression. Health problems can include: headaches, stomachaches, constipation, gas pains, fatigue, and depression. These problems are often worse during damp and/or muggy days and in moldy places. Additionally, exposure to perfumes and insecticides can worsen the condition.

Dr. William Shaw has been conducting important research on yeast and its effects on autistic individuals. He recently discovered unusual microbial metabolites in the urine of autistic children who responded remarkably well to anti-fungal treatments. Dr. Shaw and his colleagues observed a decrease in urinary organic acids as well as decreases in hyperactivity and self-stimulatory, stereotyped behavior; and increases in eye contact, vocalization, and concentration. There are many safe methods to treat yeast overgrowth, such as taking nutritional supplements which replenish the intestinal tract with 'good' microbes (e.g., acidophilus) and/or taking anti-fungal medications (e.g., Nystatin, Ketoconosal, Diflucan).

It is also recommended that the person be placed on a special diet, low in sugar and other foods on which yeasts thrive. Interestingly, if the candida albicans is causing health and behavior problems, a person will often become quite ill for a few days after receiving a treatment to kill the excess yeast. The yeast is destroyed and the debris is circulated through the body until it is excreted. Thus, a person who displays negative behaviors soon after receiving treatment for candida albicans (the Herxheimer reaction) is likely to have a good prognosis. Please note: treatment for candida albicans infrequently results in a cure for autism. However, if the person is suffering from this problem, his/her health and behavior should improve following the therapy. To learn more about yeast and candida albicans, visit the Autism Research Institute's web site. The Institute's publication list contains an extensive information packet and books on this subject. In addition, William G. Crook, M.D. has written several excellent books on yeast, including the classic The Yeast Connection (1986), The Yeast Connection and the Woman (1995), and more recently, The Yeast Connection Handbook (1996).

Dr. William Shaw also provides organic acid testing as well as additional testing. He can be contacted at: The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 9335 West 75th Street, Overland Park, KS 66204, U.S.A; telephone: (913) 341-8949; and fax: (913) 341-6207.

CLOSER TO HOME My knowledge of mold gained from Drs. Gray and Marinkovich told me that mold attacked the gut the same way that antibiotics do (note that one of the major molds we were exposed to was “Penicillium”... sound familiar?). So I searched the DAN website to find individuals who understood and acknowledged this brain/gut connection and found the name of Dr. Jennifer Reid, ND. At the same time, I was contacting Autism support groups and was again given her name by the father of a boy with Asperger’s. Dr. Reid changed our lives. My oldest went from one hour a day at school to seven hours a day within weeks.

My youngest was hit at a more critical time developmentally and is responding, but more slowly. It is important to understand that this damage which occurs to the gut can actually CAUSE additional food allergies. These issues are ongoing. This is what has worked for us: I use the Nizoral (antifungal) nasal spray from Dr. Marinkovich (Dr. Reid can also perscribe it). He also perscribed a mold-free digestive enzyme and gave us an anti-mold diet (*included at the end). Dr. Reid has supplemented the nutrition the boys are missing with a good multi-vitamin while healing their guts with live organisms that compete with the molds. My oldest takes Inositol and DMG, available at the health food store. Both are on gluten-free/casien-free diets (no bread, no dairy), and we’re drastically reducing sugar intake, ultimately eliminating it. Dr. Reid is a former psychologist who is working around the boys’ sensory issues, which make it difficult for them to eat certain flavors, textures and temperatures. There is much more to their regimen, but it is different for each boy and would be different for each patient, according to their health history. We are beginning a detox regiment using infrafred sauna, which I am optimistic about. I’m including the DAN practitioners website again so you can find one in your area. http://www.autismwebsite.com/ari-lists/danus.html

WHAT’S NEXT I’m still learning all the time. What angers me is that people all over the world are suffering from mold exposure and being misdiagnosed... it looks like Autism, it looks like MS, it’s all in your head, or if a doctor can’t figure out what it is, he might call it “irritable bowel syndrome.” I just love those blanket diagnoses that require some perscription to hide the symptom of a much bigger problem. I think it’s significant that neurological diagnoses of MS and Autism are growing exponentially in the northwest.

So what’s different that mold has become such a big issue in the last few years? Several things: First, homes are being built more rapidly. In our case, the walls were closed up while the home was still wet, trapping the moisture in the walls where the mold was allowed to flourish. Second, homes are made from OSB (oriented strandboard) which is made of the majority of the tree going into the chipper. Mold in nature occurs on the bark of the tree. So the mold spores COME IN on lumber put in new homes. Third, the new energy conservation laws are creating houses which are unable to breathe. The little 50-year-old house we moved back into after leaving our new house probably leaks. But because it breathes, it’s able to dry, and mold doesn’t form. And it’s made of top quality lumber. In Oregon, the state is required by law to educate our children to the age of 21. I’ve read that it takes two million dollars to educate a child with Autism or pervasive developmental disorder. Perhaps it would be cheaper in the longrun to prevent builders form getting away with building houses that damage us or hold them financially accountable when they do. Need I even mention the human cost?

There is no amount of money any parent would take to see their son hit himself or scratch his own face in frustration while calling himself stupid. There is no amount of money I wouldn’t pay to get my children out of a classroom referred to by other students as the “rubber room.” The insurance and building industries are well funded and very powerful. They are working full time to keep this information from making its way to the public. There are researchers and well-educated doctors who produce studies and testify that the type of symptoms I’m describing aren’t related to mold exposure. The industrial hygeinist who testified against us called us “hysterical” and claimed half of mold victims’ symptoms were all in their heads. He said he doesn’t wear protective gear to test a moldy house because it will set off a “panic.”

In my opinion, these “professionals”, who are paid obscene amounts of money to say what they do, belong in prison. They are the reason that we can’t go to our neighborhood doctors and be appropriately treated for such a common problem. I personally believe mold exposure in this country is at epidemic proportions. Due to financial problems homeowners are trapped in their moldy homes or sell them to unsuspecting buyers. Due to mandatory arbitration clauses in home contracts and warranty companies who used industry-biased arbitrators, there is little legal recourse. People are suffering. I doubt I needed to tell you that. Help me get the word out, and call me if you have anymore questions or just need moral support. I have many more resources, depending on your individual needs. And please remember, I am not a doctor or mold specialist. I’m a victim and this is what is true for me.

Renee Haynes
2429 E. 35th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
email [email protected]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings www.hadd.com (I’m the Oregon Representative, along with Jim Varco) VISIT THIS SITE AND FILL OUT A COMPLAINT

Kelly Vance, our attorney out of Washington state [email protected] 509-448-2588 Kelly represented us and prevailed in court in our suit against our builder

Air-Zone Inc. www.air-zone.com Maker of ozone machines. The XT-6000 is about $800. These are industrial strength machines. According to Dr. Gray, the ozone aircleaners commonly sold are worthless and may even be dangerous. He says ozone kills the less hardy molds, allowing the others to thrive. Dr. Marinkovich endorses ozone use and says houses should be treated twice a month. Ozone itself is dangerous and should be used with caution. (These were the opinions of the doctors last I asked. Their positions may or may not have changed.)

B. Robert Crago 520-323-0062 Neurologist in Arizona who knows about mold

Michael Gray 866-586-9111. Mold expert in Arizona

Jim Johnson, Oregon Neuropsychologist who testified for us and believes in mold toxicity 503-252-3906

Kaye Kilburn Mold author and internist in LA 626-798-3859

Mac McConnell, Oregon IH who testified for us and is very mold knowledgeable 541-929-3100

Vincent Marinkovich Mold expert in California who testified for us 650-482-2800

Joe Morgan, Oregon Allergist in Coos Bay who understands mold 541-269-0333

Jennifer Reid Our naturopath in Gresham, Oregon 503-492-9427

Michael Stone Allergist in Ashland, OR who is helping mold victims 541-488-1116

Jim Varco HADD rep in Oregon 541-935-4537

*FOODS RICH IN FUNGAL (MOLD) PROTEIN-ALLERGENS (From Dr. Vincent Marinkovich, Redwood City, CA, 650-482-2800) DRIED FRUIT Raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, etc. AGED CHEESE Some cheeses are OK if milk is not a problem, e.g. cottage cheese and cream cheese, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and farmers cheese. MUSHROOMS LEFTOVERS Eat within 24 hours, unless frozen (microwave frozen food to thaw quickly). OVER-RIPE FRUITS & VEGETABLES Discolored, wilted, mushy. BREADS Check ingredients. Malted means moldy. Dough conditioners are moldy. Sourdough is the worst. Bread develops surface mold after a day. Tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cakes and cookies use baking powder and are usually yeast-free. TOMATO PRODUCTS Juice, sauce, paste, ketchup, etc. are made from moldy tomatoes. BEER The darker the brew, the more mold it contains. WINE & WINE VINEGAR White wine is least moldy; clear vinegar may be tolerated. MOST LIQUORS Vodka, tequila, clear rum are least moldy. MULTI-B VITAMINS Contain either yeast or mold (rice hulls are moldy). PROCESSED MEATS Hot dogs, sausage, salami, bologna, etc. Solid preserved meats such as ham, turkey, pastrami may be OK. HAMBURGER Beware! Often from aged meat; eat within a day of grinding. PRODUCTS OF ASPERGILLUS FERMENTATION Soy sauce, chocolate, black tea, malt extract (breads and cereals), Lactaid (milk additive), beano, citric acid (common food additive not derived from citrus fruit), fruit juice (commercial is often from moldy fruit; many contain mold enzymes added in processing), digestive enzymes (pancreatic are OK), cholesterol lowering enzymes. NOTE All foods will become moldy in time. Shop frequently, buy in small quantities and, when in doubt, ask the vendor about freshness. Read labels. Molds thrive on sugar--control your intake. A moldy environment can be an additional probloem. Do not store food in frost-free freezers for more than one to two weeks because of the automatic thaw cycle. Organic foods are more likely to mold.

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