The Lasting Impact of Mold in Dorms

Michael Rubino

September 28

Today’s podcast guest is Taylor Hogan, a college student and mold survivor. Her unfortunate experience with mold happened after she moved into her dorm at Arizona State University. The experience completely upended her life, causing significant mental and physical illness. Two years later, she’s still dealing with the repercussions of the two months she spent in the contaminated dorm. 

Taylor bravely describes her experience of living in a dorm with mold while trying to start her college career. Instead of excelling in school, meeting new people, and creating lasting memories, she began feeling increasingly unwell. As a naturally talented student, she knew that something was incredibly wrong when she suddenly developed mental issues such as memory loss that led to her failing school.

While she tried to work with her school, they pushed back and told her that nothing was wrong. Combined with the lack of assistance she received from the doctors, it quickly became one of the worst experiences of her life. With the encouragement and support of her mother, she eventually medically withdrew from school and began her journey to healing. Now she is working to rebuild her life, find a new major, and create greater awareness about this worldwide health epidemic. Otherwise, the future generation will continue to suffer from exposure to toxic living spaces.

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In this episode: 

1:00: Tammy describes her experience that led to her awareness of mold exposure and the impact it has on health. After getting breast implants 30 years ago, her health slowly began to take a drastic downward turn. It took her years before she found a doctor who would listen to her and work on figuring out what was going wrong with her body. "It was not a journey that was a quick one. Nothing’s worse than having a practitioner that you trust tell you that it’s all on your head."

4:00: Tammy begins to touch on her healing journey and the struggles she’s faced. "To say it’s been easy is putting it nicely…"

4:45: Tammy details the process of removing the breast implants that contained mold. She also explains the proper way to successfully deal with this issue.

7:30: Tammy explains that, as a real estate agent, she’s now familiar with what it feels like to walk into a building that has a current mold problem. "Now when I walk into properties, I will know when there’s mold in the house. I’m hypersensitive... I feel like I’m allergic to it."

10:30: Tammy shares how difficult the "die-off" part of detoxing was and the steps she’s been taking to flush her body of toxins. "I felt exhausted. I was fatigued all day. I really felt like I had the flu."

13:15: Tammy explains her experience finding others who are going through the same situation and how it helped her get through the entire process. She goes through some of the research she’s performed and what she’s learned about the implant industry. "The community of breast implant illness women is vast. It’s more than the common person thinks." Many individuals have also told Tammy that while they believe they are suffering from a similar issue, there are a variety of problems standing in the way of them getting treatment.

20:00: Tammy shares how she found that it’s not just environmental; she found that food can also be a source of exposure.

22:45: Tammy suggests that individuals steer clear of implants completely to avoid this harmful situation. "There are other, far safer methods to rectify the notion that, ‘Well I have to have something,’ because that’s what society tells us we should."

28:00: Tammy touches on how she wishes she would have gotten the explant surgery sooner so that she wasn’t dealing with her litany of symptoms for so long. At one point, she even developed a sensitivity to chemicals. "I’m allergic to BPA now and glyphosate, which is used in pretty much every produce product."

33:15: Tammy describes the support and feedback from others during her journey. "Any relationship, friendship, or anything else that didn’t serve me, I got rid of them. It takes a lot of courage for a woman to say, ‘I have breast plant illness,’ and then make the decision to remove them. Because the people around her will view her differently."

39:45: Tammy shares the struggles she’s faced while trying to heal and how her religion helped her get through them.

42:00: Tammy promotes being true to oneself, especially when going through this difficult process and not getting the social support they’d want. "Stay true to yourself."

47:00: Tammy shares advice that she hopes will help others who are going through similar experiences. "Whatever you decide to do is going to be the best decision for you. The people in your life will either embrace and support you, or they won’t. But it’s better to know now."

Reach Out to Taylor At:

IG: @tayylormhogan