(COLORADO SPRINGS) — One Colorado Springs family’s life was upended when their home became infested with toxic mold. The community is now banding together to support them after the family’s insurance refused to cover the staggering costs of repairs and remediation, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The insidious mold infestation not only ravaged The Musilli’s cherished home but also inflicted severe health issues upon the family of five. The house was deemed uninhabitable back in May, and the family hasn’t lived there since.

Julie Musilli, standing in what was once her cozy living room, spoke of the ordeal, saying, “Every time they take down a wall, they find another problem… you’re dealing with toxic mold.”

The harrowing journey began when the Musillis’ eldest son, Josiah, fell gravely ill, a condition from which he would not recover for nearly a year. The severity of his illness was such that he missed 40 days of school in a single year.

Josiah, who is now 15 years old, shared his experience.

“I was in a sport year-round… being active all the time. And then I just didn’t have the energy for any of that stuff… I mean, just walking up the stairs, all of a sudden I’d just be really out of breath… I just couldn’t do anything that I love doing.”

After a battery of tests, numerous doctor visits, and various medications failed to pinpoint the issue, a toxicology test finally revealed the truth: Josiah’s body was infested with multiple mold species.

His mom, Julie, recalled the moment they received the diagnosis. “That’s when we found out, wow, his body’s full of mold.”

Josiah had to relocate to his grandparents’ house, living apart from his family for weeks. But, the rest of his family eventually joined him, as inspectors uncovered mold or water damage behind nearly every wall of their home.

Their 14-year home, once a haven of comfort, is now unrecognizable and unlivable, marred by the relentless mold infestation.

Heather Sellars, a close friend of the family, recounted the uphill battle they faced.

“When they very first started with the remediation, they were getting one cost quoted, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money.’ … And then it just kept going up and up and up, and every time they would come, they kept finding more mold, more issues, having to get rid of more of their belongings.”

Sellars, deeply moved by their plight, initiated a GoFundMe campaign to assist the Musilli family in covering the extensive expenses their insurance would not bear. The total bill has soared to a staggering $150,000.

“The additional loss of having to get rid of so many of their belongings, furniture, and items from their kids’ childhood that she was having to throw away, things from her wedding that she was having to dispose of. That emotional cost on top of everything else, it’s just so hard to see your friends going through that,” Sellars lamented.

If you would like to help out the Mussili’s you can donate at this link: Fundraiser by Heather Sellars : Help Musillis Get Their House Back! (gofundme.com)

While the Musillis’ home has been mostly cleared of mold, their home is in no state to live in. They are still residing with Julie’s parents nearby, but they are hopeful to reoccupy their home in the coming months.

“We’ve been out of our home for five months, and our son’s finally getting better. And that’s the best part,” said Julie. “But I can’t wait to be on the other side of all this.”