A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story

A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story
March, 2013, Kelsey Best, was diagnosed with Sick Building Syndrome, also referred to as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. In Kelsey’s case, because of her prolonged exposure to mold, from the age of five until her diagnosis, she suffered from Mycotoxicosis which is the term used for poisoning associated with prolonged exposure to mycotoxins.
In the simplest term possible, mycotoxins are produced by some molds. Unseen by the naked eye, these toxins then enter the body through the skin, mucous, and airways. The entry of these mycotoxins could then compromise the hosts immune system, particularly if there is long term exposure.
Some research theorizes that 25% of the human population has a genetic pre-disposition to mold illness. It is also suspected that prolonged exposure to T-2 mycotoxins found in many molds will have an impact on anyone’s health. As Susan Lillard-Roberts of Mold-Survivor points out:
Exposure to the T-2 mycotoxins found in many types of current indoor molds will poison anyone in time; no one is immune.
These are the symptoms of Mycotoxicosis identified by Lillard-Roberts:
-Fibromyalgia/mps (and several correlated symptoms)
-Respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, sinusitis
-Difficulty swallowing, choking, spitting up (vomiting) mucous
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, nausea, diarrhea, sharp abdominal pains, stomach lesions
-Bladder, liver, spleen, or kidney pain
-Dark or painful urine
-Dirt-like taste in mouth, coated tongue
-Food allergies/leaky gut syndrome/altered immunity
Memory loss; brain fog, slurred speech, occasionally leading to dementia
-Vision problems
-Swollen lymph nodes
-Large boils on neck (often a sign of anaphylaxis)
-Yellowing of nails, ridges, or white marks under nail
-Thyroid irregularities, sometimes leading to complete dysfunction; adrenal problems
-Anxiety/depression, heart palpitations – confusion, PTSD
-Extreme blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides irregularities
-Ringing in ears, balance problems (very common), dizziness, loss of hearing (aspergillus niger)
Chronic fatigue (also included under this classification directional confusion)
-Intermittent face flushing; almost always systemic, Called the Mylar Flush (neurological)
-Night head sweats, and drooling while sleeping, profuse sweating
-Multiple chemical sensitivity; only upon exposure to Stachybotrys and Chaetomium
-Nose bleeds (stachybotrys)
-Bruising/scarring easily; rash or hives, bloody lesions all over the skin (Often systemic, see images; skin)
-Reproductive system complications; infertility, changes in menstrual cycles, miscarriage
-Sudden weight changes (Detoxifier genotypes tend to gain weight, non-detoxifier genotypes tend to lose weight)
-Hair loss, very brittle nails, temporary loss of fingerprints (in rare cases)
-Joint/muscle stiffness and pain
-Irregular heart beat/heart attack
-Seizures, inadvertent body jerking, twitching, inadvertent facial movements or numbness in face
-Hypersensitivity when re-exposed to molds, which can lead to anaphylaxis
-Anaphylaxis upon re-exposure to mycotoxin producing molds
Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to speak with Kelsey Best, who read and commented on the first Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor article we published. Kelsey advised me that she has suffered from mold illness for most of her life.

Kelsey Best Athlete

Kelsey’s story is particularly interesting because she was a very accomplished athlete. In 2005, she placed second at the Junior Canadian Nationals for Track and Field in Javelin and won herself a spot on the Junior Canadian Pan American Track and Field Team. That same year, she also represented the province of Nova Scotia at the Canada Games. In addition to being an accomplished athlete, she was also a leader, a flag bearer at the Pan Am games and captain of the Nova Scotia team for the field events.
You would think that such an accomplished athlete, would be the picture of health. Yet, this is not the case.
Kelsey believes that she has a genetic pre-disposition to mold sickness and that this is one of the primary reasons that she has been suffering for most of her life. In her view, she has been chronically exposed to mold at her primary school, highschool, and the government of Nova Scotia buildings she worked at.
Kelsey believes that this chronic exposure to mold has resulted in her downward health spiral: 20 years of being exposed to mold would have an effect on anybody.
Throughout her childhood and adult years, Kelsey has suffered from the following symptoms which progressively worsened over time: ear and throat infections, asthma, skin rashes, unexplained headaches, swollen tongue with sores and white coating, severe depression leading to suicidal thoughts and attempts, extreme abdominal pain and bloating, back pain, joint pain, severe diarrhea, severe weight loss, extreme fatigue, very pale, no concentration or focus (ADHD), no appetite, nausea and vomiting, mood swings, unstable emotions, foggy head, hard of hearing, uncontrollable acid reflux, digestive problems, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, weakened immune system, psoriasis/eczema, restless leg syndrome, dry skin/brittle nails and hair, painful PMS, menopause, constant allergic reactions, body temperature fluctuations, and anaphylactic shock.
Perhaps, the most frustrating and heart breaking aspect of this case is that Kelsey has sought medical assistance throughout her life. She has consulted with numerous physicians who have performed a battery of tests and prescribed many different medications. Yet, despite the fact that Kelsey continued to get sicker, not one doctor even considered that maybe environmental factors, like mold, was the root cause of the problem.
The main issue with main stream medicine is ignorance of the health issues caused by mold. This systemic ignorance is the reason that people that suffer from mold sickness never get the help they need.
Like most cases of mold sickness, it is the victim who must determine the cause of the sickness.
January 2013, after numerous tests, her Doctor told her that nothing was wrong with her. Frustrated, Kelsey, asked if mold could be the issue. According to Kelsey, the doctor laughed and stated: it does not appear that you have lung disease!
Rather than giving up on the possibility that mold could be the cause, Kelsey began researching the topic on the Internet. During her research she learned about Mycotoxicosis and realized that she had been suffering from about 30 of the symptoms listed. Armed with her research, she again presented this information to her Doctor, who finally referred her to a specialist in environmental medicine who diagnosed her with Sick Building Syndrome.
Since her diagnosis in March, 2013, and armed with the knowledge that chronic exposure to mold has caused her sickness, she is focused on healing and detoxing her body. She has consulted with a Doctor of traditional Chinese medicine for assistance. In addition, she has been utilizing the services of a local business, Atlantic Healing Hemp, to fully detoxify. Kelsey explains her detoxing story in much greater detail in the video below

If you have questions or would like to share your toxic mold story with us, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

8 thoughts on “A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story

  1. Glen Coleman

    I’m glad and thankful for Kelsey’s recovery and wish her all the best.

    “…they may as well say that this same category of people is more susceptible to SARS, West Nile Virus, AIDS, and cancer.”
    Are they not? If they are, then how exactly is the truth – a misleading statement?
    Is using scare tactics beneficial to the general public or to the purveyor?

    I believe that “so-called mold experts” who attempt to frighten people with worst-case scenario mold stories, pretending public service, want to increase their self-importance through publicity and do the general public a grave disservice. Let’s be real – the average person will never suffer from mold exposure in their entire life and there is no reason to freak people out. Please stop.

  2. Kelsey Best

    Thank you so much Nancy, I am so grateful how everything has come together after such difficult times. I personally think Nova Scotia has a special place in peoples heart who has connection because of Its beautiful and unique touch. Nova Scotia is an amazing place to visit and/or live, unfortunately with my illness and no mold laws, about 2/3 of the buildings in the province I cannot enter which has placed a few extra barriers in my life. I have experienced numerous anaphylactic shock symptoms from shopping, social gathering, emergency bathroom trips, looking at rental properties, paying for gas etc. I am truly blessed to have the knowledge I have now to be able to take control of my illness. Nancy if you and your husband are ever visiting Nova Scotia consider coming by Atlantic Healing Hemp store in Berwick the Annapolis Valley to say hi 😀

  3. Kelsey Best

    Hi Glen
    “Let’s be real – the average person will never suffer from mold exposure in their entire life and there is no reason to freak people out. Please stop.” ? Glen, I was wondering if you could explain who is an “average person” are and who are those “average people” that will never suffer from mold exposure?
    I thought I was an “average person”? I went to a public school, graduated from high school and community college where I used the knowledge I gained from 16 years of education and 21 years of living life to get the job in my small hometown in the field that I am very passionate about and excelled in while being an active and athletic on the side.

    “I believe that ‘so-called mold experts’ who attempt to frighten people with worst-case scenario mold stories, pretending public service, want to increase their self-importance through publicity and do the general public a grave disservice.”

    Please stop those people who do not have the correct knowledge or the strength to speak the truth about mold. I can personally tell you mold kills! To be a person who life almost ended, now living with anaphylactic shock when entering “sick building”, have severe food intolerance (NO sugar, yeast, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, mushroom, strawberries, blueberries, preservatives, processed foods etc) and have many years a head of me to repair my body from all the damage mold has done because so called “mold experts and professionals” lied!
    Almost loosing out on life not just one but twice because of mold is something no one should have ever have to experience. The truth can heal but the untruthful facts come into play for businesses and/or politics.

    • Chris

      Hi Kelsey,

      Right there with you with most of these symptoms. I’m happy to find out about mold illness while I’m still young. I am seeing a Chinese medicine doctor and wanted to know your experience in treatment so far?


  4. Gina

    Thank you for sharing your story Kelsey. It sounds so much like our story.
    Whats interesting i found reading your story, i had west nile virus, it has never been linkied to my mold illness. And viral meningitis in 2005.

    • Kelsey Best

      Its amazing how we can learn so much from other stories and the connections that click when you read articles that relate to you. I think we are all going to grain knowledge and create more connections.

    • Luis

      Mold sickness is real I know for a fact,the problem is that is difficult to find someone who can understand about mold .Thank you

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