About this fundraiser

This fundraiser seeks to help pay the medical expenses for Melody and Jayna as they recover from long-term mold exposure in their apartment. Their health slowly deteriorated over time, but they thought it was just a general slump until Jayna woke up one day in September with so much pain she couldn't even talk. After they visited numerous doctors (and veterinarians, for their dog Captain), they eventually were able to put the pieces together to understand what happened + how to recover and rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, this was expensive (even with insurance!) and it drained almost all of their financial resources.

Any money raised here will go toward paying various health expenses, including but not limited to uncovered medical bills, prescription medications, veterinary care, and unexpected mental health care needs (beyond usual maintenance care). If total donations exceed $4500, the extra money will be used to replace any mold-contaminated clothing items, furniture, books, etc. that couldn't be salvaged.

Thank you so much for your part in helping them get back on their feet!! No matter what you're able to give, big or small, know that it makes a meaningful difference. ❤️

Itemized Costs:

  • 3 visits to urgent care + testing = $300
  • 1 visit to primary care = $105
  • 1 visit to pulmonologist = $170
  • 2 visits to allergist = $630
  • 2 veterinary visits for Captain = $450
  • Extra mental health care, to present = $850
  • Estimated mental health care, next 2-3 months = $875
  • Travel to/from appointments ($0.22/m) = $115
  • Prescription medications = $325
  • Other health costs = $275
  • 1 emergency hotel room stay = $210
  • 1 boarding stay for Captain = $40
  • 3-4% transaction fees = ~$155


Here's what Melody shared earlier this month:

"What do you do when you're suddenly, brutally, displaced from your home?


This was our first home together. We'd felt so lucky--an affordable apartment in The Museum District? Surrounded by verdant trees, historic buildings, and cobblestone roads. A slice of art in central Virginia. It almost felt too good to be true.

Unfortunately, it was.

The rent was affordable because the landlords didn't want to invest in the property at all. They saw it only as a means of passive income. Rent, rinse, repeat. No care, no attention... and ultimately, no compassion.

When we first moved in, we told them on Day 1 that all our fire alarms were broken, and that our fire extinguisher was expired. They replaced the large, red canister with a small, white, barely-larger-than-your-hand, minimally adequate for only the smallest of fires, plastic...thing? And it took them 43 days to give us working fire alarms. Unfathomable in any other context, right?

You also would never imagine they'd tell us the apartment was "clean" and "ready to move in" with visible mold in the AC units. Right? That they wouldn't have also painted over several other mold spots in the house?

I used to think it was weird that they'd hired painters to cover every single inch, even the ropes that held the windows in place. Now, I know it was to hide their negligence.
Our experience could almost be a movie: multiple trips to urgent care, terse emails, a fake "inspector" with fraudulent licenses, and a desperate evacuation last Friday night after we both began to experience symptoms of anaphylaxis.

I'm only just beginning to process that I almost died just 7 days ago.

I'm so allergic to mold now that I can't even drive in to check our mailbox without struggling to breathe. I'm devastated. We literally can't stay alive in our home anymore, and we didn't even get a chance to say goodbye :(
We're moving in with my parents for now. We'll also need help getting any salvageable items into storage / replacing what can't be rescued. If you are able to help in any way, whether physically, financially, or even cognitively, feel free to reach out.
To all: thanks for reading. Being "seen" helps a lot ❤️"

Mold was visible in all three window AC units that the landlords had provided. (We'd thought it was dust/grime)
One of the biggest sources of mold was on the ceiling in our bedroom
A leak in the attic caused the the ceiling mold.
Captain had to go to multiple veterinarian appointments
Melody's full-body rash, alongside troubles breathing, lightheadedness, nausea, swelling lips, etc.
Feeling exhaustion/pain ALL. THE. TIME. was not fun.
Their first picture together in front of the apartment.

Organized by

Melody Sánchez-Luca

Fredericksburg, VA, USA