A woman has been left continuously sick and bedridden for 35 years because of mould.
Dana Anhalt, 37, has suffered extreme pain and allergies since childhood without diagnosis.
The writer, from New York, was finally told she had Lyme disease in 2016, but despite treatment her health continue to decline.
It was only when the family noticed a musty smell from their basement they realised their apartment was infested with poisonous black mould .
Dana said: “I’ve spent all 37 years of my life slowly being poisoned from the inside out.
“The genetic testing was difficult to look at but it was also one of the most of vindicating things I’ve ever seen. Suddenly, decades of my experience made sense.”
Dana was first sick when she developed mono aged 16 which had long term effect on her health.
She said: “When I was a child I was sick quite often. I was plagued with constant sinus infections, repeated bouts of strep, migraines, hormonal trouble and mounting GI symptoms.
“After my mum passed, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and did not respond to any of the standard treatments.
“By 2011 I was almost entirely bed bound, and by 2012 I was ravaged with muscle and joint pain so severe that I often vomited from the intensity.
“I was trapped in a body that could not articulate what I was going through or seek comfort in connection with others.”
Doctors ordered Dana to leave her house without her possessions and now the family have used a GoFundMe page to raise over $31K to help with the move.
Dana developed severe allergies and dropped down to 70lbs in her twenties and thirties.
Dana said: “I had been developing multiple chemical and food sensitivities over the years, but they sky-rocketed out of control, leaving me with almost nothing left that I could eat.
“I became allergic to all pain medications, and had no relief from the physical agony.
“In addition, I was getting outrageous symptoms of histamine excess: rashes, flushing, full body itching and burning so intense that it would keep me up for 10 days at a time.
“I nearly lost my mind. I was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation disorder, but no one understood why this was happening.”
Then, in 2016, mould remediates discovered there was a rampant black mould infestation which had been there since a flood when Dana was a child.
Dana said: “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. Of course, it has been tempting to give up at times.
“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.
“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.”