Today’s Mold Talks guest is Allison Rassp, Certified Holistic Health Coach for Women with Hashimoto’s Disease. Her personal mold journey went on for over 9 years as she moved in and out of moldy environments both in her homes and her jobs. Her experience led her to develop a deep understanding of mold exposure and the effect it has on health. Particularly its relationship to conditions like Hashimoto’s disease.
Choosing to use her struggles to help others, Allison centered her life on helping others through their mold experiences. By walking them through full-body detoxing, advocating for their health, and understanding environmental factors influencing health she’s actively working towards aiding others to heal and simultaneously pushing for mold awareness.
Our discussion touches on Allison’s unique struggle with mold and Hashimoto’s, the peaks and valleys of symptoms as she moved out of moldy situations, and her long journey to recovery. We also touch on her inspiration and motivation to help others struggling with similar situations.
Allison began noticing a change in her health around 2013, in what she now believes was a moldy apartment. From there, she spent nine years with a combination of either living or working in moldy environments.
“Most people suspect that they have it in their homes, but they don’t always think about their work environment and how it could be affecting them there.”
Her first job where she recognized a mold issue was in an elementary school that had so much mold the ceiling tiles were black. From there she moved on to higher education and faced similar issues. What she noticed was a glaring similarity from all of the schools she worked in.
“Anyone who is in the education field knows that they like to pretend that mold doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem because they don’t have the money to fix it. It’s kind of an uphill battle for educators.”
It took some time for Allison to consider mold as a culprit, but the tipping point came when she started to notice her body felt better while on vacation or at a friend’s house. From gut problems to rashes to fatigue and brain fog, her daily life was severely impaired as her body and immune system fought the foreign particle invasion. Not when she was away from her normal life, though. Yet when she went back home or to her work environment, her symptoms came roaring back. Que the beginning of the light bulb moment.
While doctor after doctor told her nothing was wrong, she knew the pieces just didn’t add up. Mold came into the diagnosis picture when she refused to move into a moldy building at a community college she worked at.
She battled back and forth with HR and eventually advocated for herself at the doctor and requested tests to prove she had mold in her body. Turns out, she did! What came after was a long struggle to get the heads of the community college to believe her because they couldn’t or wouldn’t see past their lack of education regarding mold and related exposure symptoms.
“It was really frustrating and it was an uphill battle that I knew I was just not going to win. Do I choose my health over a job? Yeah… My health wins every single time. So I ended up leaving because it’s just not worth not feeling well.”
Over the next few years, Allison would continue her battle with mold as she moved in and out of housing, but she’s now on the path to healing. She also decided to use her struggles to help others as they begin their journey to wellness. By creating more education and awareness, she hopes to help people avoid the pitfalls she faced and the length of time she was sick.
“When we know better, we do better. Until we know what to do, it can be this endless cycle of frustration.”
Now she coaches her clients to “control the controllables.” It can be overwhelming and stressful to consider that mold is everywhere. Often times it’s unavoidable. Her advice instead is to control what you can and do what you can with what you have.