TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – “People are going to die and no one cares. No one is going to do anything to help anyone and Staten Island is going to be ruined,” said Elaine Kelly, a native Staten Islander now living in New Jersey who wipes tears away as she talks about how so many residents of Sandy-ravaged neighborhoods are susceptible to serious illnesses from toxic mold exposure.
Kelly would know because she says she’s been dealing with debilitating illnesses caused by mold exposure from her apartment building years ago.
She likens her life to a science fiction movie, saying she was a happy, healthy career-driven woman who was forced out of her home and now on disability and constantly sick, all because of mold.
“It started with sinus and fatigue then it went to the thyroid, attacking my liver, attacking my hormones, I got arthritis…You don’t know what’s wrong, don’t know how to get help. It’s a devastating illness,” said Kelly.
So when Super Storm Sandy hit, she thought, “I have to help them because the Board of Health and city agencies will fail them. And they are all going to get sick and I don’t want them to suffer like I have,” said Kelly.
She started an online conversation through a Facebook page dubbed, “All Things Mold, an Environmental Discussion Group.” There are nearly 300 members who can they can get legal help, how they can get doctors, what the symptoms and signs would be.