Living in a house that has been harboring toxic black mold for more than three decades has ruined Dana Anhalt’s health.
A writer from Huntington, New York, Anhalt, 37, has been suffering from debilitating pain and allergies since childhood, but doctors had not been able to diagnose her issues until mold remediation specialists were brought into her home and discovered that an infestation of black mold caused by a flood had slowly been sickening the woman since childhood.
Anhalt was suffering from a variety of symptoms and became bedridden after 35 years of exposure to the toxic black mold that was lurking in the basement of the house where she has lived for most of her life, according to an article in Daily Mail.
She initially developed a glandular fever at the age of 16 and then was “plagued with constant sinus infections, repeated bouts of strep, migraines, hormonal trouble, and mounting gastrointestinal symptoms,” said Anhalt, adding that she was almost entirely bedridden by 2011. “[A]nd by 2012, I was ravaged with muscle and joint pain so severe that I often vomited from the intensity.”
Feeling trapped in her body and unable to articulate her misery or seek comfort from others, Anhalt said she felt like she was losing her mind as unexplained diagnoses of Fibromyalgia, allergies, chronic Lyme disease, multiple chemical and food sensitivities, and Mast cell activation disorder caused unbearable symptoms.
She even developed allergies to all pain medications, so there was no relief for the young woman as she experienced “rashes, flushing, full body itching and burning so intense that it would keep me up for 10 days at a time.”
Finally, the family realized that a musty smell coming from their basement was the real culprit. Doctors told Anhalt to abandon her house and all of her possessions, which added to the woman’s misery. “We rushed to find a new apartment and we had to leave all of our belongings … everything I had collected over the years. It was devastating.”
Anhalt is now scrambling to raise enough money to move into a new apartment and pay for her medical treatment.
So far, the family has raised more than $31,000 and a GoFundMe page is collecting more contributions.
Anhalt has taken to studying psychology, with her new lease on life, and is hoping to help other people who suffer from complex illnesses.
“Not only do I persevere for the sake of my loved ones, but because I feel I truly have something to give back to the community,” said Anhalt, adding, “I look forward to being an advocate for those with complex illnesses, a ballast in the face of the pervasive invalidation in our medical system.”
Genetic testing was a vindicating experience for Anhalt. “Suddenly, decades of my experience made sense,” she said. “I’ve spent all 37 years of my life slowly being poisoned from the inside out.”
H/T: Daily Mail
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