Imagine waking up every morning with brain fog, yellow skin, sinus infections, swollen lymph nodes in places you didn’t even know lymph nodes existed, GI issues, hearing loss, a cough, rashes all over, and not having the energy or mental clarity to perform basic tasks. Your doctor is telling you that you’re being poisoned, your liver is showing signs of destress, and you’re facing an ambiguous chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis.
This is what we have been experiencing for the past several years living in a water damaged apartment in San Francisco. We moved in at the end of 2015 and the longer we lived there the sicker we got, most noticeably in the past few years. We just could not figure out why. We thought that our symptoms were from Trent's Lyme disease diagnosis, and that perhaps one of his co-infections got passed to Amanda. However, when the rescue dog we adopted started getting sick as well we knew something else was seriously wrong. After spending our life savings on treatments, Trent was able to get his Lyme disease mostly into remission. Despite this all three of us continued to get worse and started to present with new symptoms that were not consistent with Lyme disease.Losing Everything
Now imagine the only way to get better is to dispose of almost all of your possessions, your bed, pillows, couch, dresser, coffee table, comforters, bedding, books, your dog’s bed, toys, and many articles of clothing including shoes, boots, gloves, jackets, etc. This is the reality that we, Trent, Amanda and Monty (our pup) have faced since September of 2019. We’ve lost pretty much everything. We even had to sell our car and finance a (new to us) used car.
Our insurance provider has thus far rejected our claim despite loss of use of the apartment, contamination, and damage to most of our possessions.Toxic Mold
The reason we’ve lost most of our possessions is because we discovered there were multiple types of mold growing in our bedroom some of which are capable of producing what are called mycotoxins
just feet away from where we slept every night. There was also mold coming through the paint in our bathroom. We have developed a hypersensitivity to the variety of mold species that were living in our apartment which was causing all of our health issues by crashing our immune systems and enabling other co-infections like Lyme disease, viruses, and other infections to take hold as our immune systems were too impaired to fight them off.
We eventually discovered the apartment building we were living in was built in 1908. Yes, we were living in a "sick" building that was over 100-years old and never knew. We even found photos of our former apartment in historical archives dating back to the 1920’s. To make matters worse, the city had no idea our building was even being rented to us. There hadn't been any inspections since we moved in, and after we finally called the city, their inspectors discovered a number of safety, structural, and health violations present that caused water damage and contamination of our possessions which has greatly impacted our health. The apartment was uninhabitable, and we had to move out to stop ourselves from being poisoned.
We are now in dire need of medical care beyond what our health insurance will offer (Trent doesn't even have health insurance anymore because they wouldn't treat him) and in the process of being forced out of our apartment and trying to recover our savings have been wiped out.Answers But No Solutions
After getting air and physical samples of the mold and talking to specialists, we finally had answers as to why Amanda, Monty dog, and Trent were so sick. As our landlords were dismissive and unresponsive the only solution we had was to leave and dispose of everything that was infested with toxins from the mold.
We are both suffering from lingering neurological damage, chronic fungal infections on our skin, GIs, sinuses, and even Trent's ear canals. Trent has even lost some hearing possibly permanently in his left ear. Our health and immune systems are still compromised and we need regular access to a low EMF infrared sauna, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and may even need stem cells to make a full recovery so we can regain our stamina, mental faculties, get married, and hopefully if we still can, have children.
We are running out of options, and there is no job or employment opportunities that are going to give us the funds we need to get the medical care we need now, let alone replace our possessions.
We have been lucky to live with family who have been gracious enough to allow us to live with them rent free for the past several months but it ultimately can’t replace our things or get us into a new apartment and cover medical costs despite the fact Trent continues to work through everything we have been through. Meanwhile, the housing crisis in California has made things absolutely worse due to the lack of availability, unreasonable deposits, wild fires, power-outages, and the risk of moving somewhere that also has mold. We are willing to leave the state, but don't have the funds to both look and move.
We are doing this GoFundMe so that we can get into our own apartment free from mold, heal, get the medical care we need, and start to replace some of the things we’ve lost like our bed.
Neither of us are comfortable with the idea of asking others for help. Our parents don’t like the concept, and frankly their reasoning is justifiable. We actually agree with them, but at the same time feel like we need to explore all options right now. Our lawyer advised us to do whatever will get us back on our feet again, and the only thing we can come up with to get the resources we need now is to do a GoFundMe or go even further into debt.Starting Over
As of writing this, Amanda and Trent are now both technically homeless, experiencing neurological issues and other longterm effects of having weakened immune systems for so long. We are without the medical care we need, our possessions are gone, in storage, or in the process of being sold or disposed of, and our savings from selling Trent's startup nearly 5 years ago have been completely wiped out. We are currently a month behind on our bills due to the unforeseen expenses of moving out of the city and are currently unable to get ahead. Trent is still bringing in income, but it is nowhere near enough to makeup for losing everything we've lost or provide us with the medical care we need.
We now need to see doctors who do not accept insurance who specialize in recovery from mold toxicity and poisoning. As well as get our own apartment again somewhere free from mold, and slowly start to replace all of our basic necessities like a bed to sleep on. We don't even know the extent of the damage we are facing since we can't even afford to see doctors who can properly diagnosis everything we are experiencing.
We never thought we would ever have to ask others for help like this because if you know Trent and Amanda, they've always been the people to help others. This is the first time in our lives we have ever been in situation we couldn’t recover from on our own. After years of being poisoned for so long we have lost our health and ability to even really comprehend what was happening to us while it as happening. It was a miracle we even figured it out and got out when we did.
Now that we’re finally away from the toxins that poisoned us, and have improved significantly but not entirely, we are waking up from a nightmare with none of the resources we need to recover and heal. Unfortunately these things cost money we just do not have and have no means of getting while we're still recovering.
Amanda and Trent both know there are many other people who need help more than us, but right now we can’t help others until we’re both healthy enough to take care of ourselves again. Once we are, we intend to get married, start a family (if we still can have kids as this situation may have impaired our ability to do so), and we are both committed to sharing everything we have learned from this experience to help others who are going through something similar and intend to spend the rest of our lives doing what we can to helping others.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for even reading this far and considering helping us in our time of need.Use of Proceeds
Any money donated to us will be spent on:
1) Medical care for Amanda, Trent, and Monty so we can get healthy again to be able to support ourselves and help others.
- Getting proper diagnosis and treatment with doctors who specialize in mold recovery
- Access to a low EMF infrared sauna
- Hyperbaric oxygen treatments (possibly buying our own oxygen chamber).
- Dental, jaw, ears, nose, and throat specialists. Trent spent years clenching his jaw in his sleep while at this house and sustained serious dental issues as a result. He also has sinus infections and hearing loss.
- Supplements and medications
- Possibly some kind of catastrophic health insurance
2) Replacing essential items like a bed, dresser, and couch.
Funds will not be spent on food, living expenses, car payments, etc. Trent is still working, and Amanda is seeking remote working opportunities. This GoFundMe is primarily for medical care, and replacing necessities.
Please help us get back on our feet, heal, and start our family.
Thank you for even considering helping us.