My Grandmother (Geauetta “Angel” Stephens-Topp) died from a form of mold disease. I believe it was mold, because my grandmother had a leaking basement she never fixed. At the time she was dying, the doctors couldn’t figure out what disease she had because they didn’t know she had an exposure to mold. I believe with my research, I have found that disease.

Mold growing in wet spots, such as under this leaking refrigerator, can pose a health danger. Credit: Environmental Protection Agency.

I believe my grandmother had pulmonary emphysema also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She had all the symptoms: Shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, sleep problems, heart problems, weight loss, hair loss and depression.  

According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2007, COPD claimed the lives of 124,477 Americans. About 80% to 90% of Americans that suffer with COPD die.

According to Benjamin Wedro, MD, a doctor who practices emergency medicine at Gunderson Clinic in Wisconsin, the causes of pulmonary emphysema are smoking, exposure to mold over a long period of time, irritating fumes, asthma and a rare inherited form of the disease called alpha-1 antitypic deficiency.

My grandmother had mold in her home. It was green and black and very fuzzy. In her earlier years of life, she smoked cigarettes and had bad asthma.

Most doctors would blame smoking and asthma for her COPD. They are causes, but my grandmother had a small exposure to mold before she start smoking. Over time the small amount of mold grew, because she never fixed her moisture problem.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, mold can enter your home from the outside through open doorways or windows and stick to any wet surface. You can get rid of mold by fixing your moisture problem and cleaning up the mold. If you don’t fix your mold problem, the mold grows over time. You can clean mold with detergent and water and then dry that area completely. If the mold has sunk into the ceiling of tiles or carpet, it has to be replaced.

According to Missouri Department of Health And Senior Services, mold is made up of fungi. Fungi are any of a group of single cell, multiple cells (or syncytial) spore-producing organisms feeding on molds and yeasts. Mold is not tolerated in homes. One way to prevent mold is to prevent moisture problems.. Jhané Stephens


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  1. Bestfriend I love this article. You did a good job. Someday you should write articles for living. Also im sorry to hear how your grandmother died. I wish someone whould have helped her out and they no she was old and couldnt really get around. Mold is nothing to play with. I also have asthma and sometimes I smoke so now I no to think twice about what I do, who I be around and How long I wanna live my life!!!! Stay stong twin and you no I always got your back….:smile

  2. this article cought my atteention,because i have seen mold in poeples homes,but i never new a person could and can die from it, this article was well written and thought out and veary informative.

  3. my younger cousin has asthma and her grandmother spokes so this article gave me an understanding of how mold can affect the body. now when they move into their new home i can tell them to be on th look out for mold.

  4. I have COPD and had it for several years. Back in 2010, my husband and I moved into a house owned By a family friend. About 2 weeks ago, we were going through some boxes that had been sitting in this one section of the basement and apparently water leaks in. Well i moved one of the boxes and found black mold. I moved more boxes and found more black mold. At least 3/4 of the way around this room and 1/2 way up the wall is all black mold. I haven’t told the landlord yet since I just found it. What should I do? Is it his responsibility to get rid of the mold? Would we have to leave the house while he repairs the wall’s that have mold on them? Please let me know.