Help Sam & Emma

My Name is John Hawkins & I own "VISION316 home solutions." I was contacted by this family, in order to provide an estimate for new floors. As time went on though, The project kept getting pushed back due to severe mold issues in the home. During that time, I started to get to know them better & realized what a terrible situation this was turning into. I finally asked if there was anything I could do to help, and raising money seemed to be what the family needed most, as the costs were becoming overwhelming. Here is their story:

Help Sam and Emma Recover from CIRS

Sam and Emma are unable to attend classes due to toxic mold exposure.  They must have a mold free home before they can be treated and recover.


Their Story

It all started with a fall on February 28, 2017, or so Emma’s parents, Sherri and Chris, thought. That evening Emma fell off her bed.  Most children would have quickly recovered.  She missed the entire spring semester and has struggled to get back to school ever since.

Over the next year they took her to a neurologist, physical therapy, 15 weeks at a stress center, three psychiatrists, consulted a psychologist who treats agoraphobia, two psychotherapists, neurofeedback and considered long term residential treatment. 

Sam was suffering too.  During the fall semester of 2017, he was unable to complete his first semester of high school, received home bound services and completed about half of his classes

During that time, Sherri was spending up to 20 hours a week with therapies and medical appointments.  All while keeping a thriving business running. 

A year after Emma’s fall, they finally found a doctor who diagnosed Emma and Sam with Chronic Inflammation Response Syndrome (CIRS) which is caused by exposure to mycotoxins given off by toxic mold.  They then tested their home and found it had a high level of toxic mold.

Their doctor says he can reverse most, if not all, of their symptoms.   It will take about 3 months for them to recover once they are in a mold free, stable environment.


The problem

Sam and Emma are suffering from a condition called Chronic Inflammation Response Syndrome (CIRS).  It is caused by toxic mold exposure.  The toxic mold is in their home and the family cannot remain living there.  Sam and Emma are unable to attend classes due to the inflammation in their brain and related health problems caused by mycotoxins in the air. 

Current Symptoms


•             Confusion

•             Impaired memory

•             Light sensitivity

•             migraines


•             Chronic sinus problems


Sam and Emma:

•             Fatigue

•             Anxiety

•             Focus/Concentration issues

•             Depression

•             Dehydration

•             Hormonal imbalances

•             Sleep disturbances


Their symptoms make going to school full-time realistically impossible. They are both enrolled in general education courses, but they are unable to attend their classes and spend all the time in resource classrooms.  Emma, 13, is only able to attend school 3-4 days a week for 2.5 - 5 hours a day.  Sam, 15, takes a reduced course load. 

See and to learn more about CIRS, toxic mold, and mycotoxins.

They are living a nightmare

They have not lived as a family since July.  Emma and Sherri are unable to go into the home without fatigue and migraines within 24 hours.  They and their two dogs are temporarily staying with family in a small retirement condo two cities away from their home. Sam and Chris are still in the home.  Chris is cleaning/removing their few remaining items, meeting contractors, and trying to figure out how to fix the home while working a demanding full-time job.  They both need to get out of the home and the family is looking for someplace to stay together.


What they have done

Starting the process to get their family healthy and clean the mold damage from their home has been a huge emotional and financial strain on the whole family. 

They have thrown away most of their possessions (furniture, mattresses, books etc.) including almost all their Christmas items (steeped with memories and tradition) & keepsakes from Sam and Emma’s childhoods.

They have made two claims with their homeowner’s insurance company and were denied twice.

They are training a service dog, Apollo, for Emma.  Her brain cannot tolerate walking the school halls alone, being in the hall during passing periods or in the lunch room. The stimuli overwhelm her brain.  Apollo will be ready to accompany her to her classes early spring 2019.  Right now, Apollo accompanies her to the school door, her resource teacher meets her there and escorts her to the resource classroom. 


They have borrowed from retirement, sold stock, used credit cards and are unable to get equity from their home. 

They are drowning in medical debt and struggling to pay for current health care and medications.  Their medical bills after insurance were over $30,000 in 2017.

They are meeting with contractors and mold specialists.  As they continue meeting contractor after contractor to determine what is causing water to come into their home, the explanation becomes worse.  They now know their home was built poorly and when they replaced the roof and siding it was done incorrectly. 

Sherri and Chris have resisted a campaign like this.  They finally allowed me to do so on their behalf because they realize is it has come to a point where their children are more important than their pride.  They need help getting back in their home and getting their children back on track with their education.


Estimated Budget

Major Expenses
Costs associated with maintaining and training Apollo to be Emma’s service dog
Outstanding medical Debt
Future Medication/Medical not paid by insurance
Estimated repairs to home minimum
Re-route sump pump and other various plumbing issues
Replace flooring
Estimated remediation cost
Replace furniture and other items lost
  • Christina Felix 
    • $250 
    • 34 mos
  • Jennifer Arivett 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Pam & Michael Freese 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Diane Schultz 
    • $35 
    • 36 mos
  • Matthew Hammond 
    • $125 
    • 36 mos
See all


John Hawkins 
Fishers, IN
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more