Casella Not Ready to Give Up
SHARE with Friend
Mario Casella sleeps outside under the stars in Texas, getting through the night in a sleeping bag and doing what he can to survive.
He had a "normal" life until 2008, he said, the year he began having a physical reaction to all kinds of chemicals and also feeling the effects of liver disease brought on by poor lifestyle choices made years earlier.
Back then, he was a muscular sports bar bouncer in Southern California, a bulky 220 pounds. Today, he's 120 pounds, and dying.
As for reactions to chemicals, he first reacted to bleach used in the bar's bathroom. In a telephone interview, 39-year-old Casella said, "When breathing even a little bit, I'd get the most horrible, aching, burning feeling in my liver. Then I began feeling physically ill being around chlorine, perfumes, cologne, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke. Then it got worse."
He soon had to quit work, and became a stay-at-home dad for his son, Anthony. His symptoms worsened yet. His wife wasn't supportive when he became bedridden in 2012 and they divorced. Eventually, physicians diagnosed Casella with liver disease and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). It reached the point where Casella couldn't live indoors at his father's house because of an acute sensitivity to chemicals of any strength, and couldn't live outdoors because of neighbors venting air laced with dryer sheet fragrances.
Then Casella discovered planetthrive.com, a website for MCS-affected people. He said, "Through it, I reached out to people all over the world. I was going to kill myself. Then a woman (in Arizona) heard my story and took me in."
When that woman became ill, Casella had to leave. A Missouri woman helped him find an environmentally safe community in Texas, where he now lives outdoors to avoid contact with chemicals of any strength. As for MCS, Casella was showing swift, dramatic improvement until November, when his liver disease unexpectedly worsened.
Due to the certainty of physically reacting to hospital chemicals should he see a physician, he hasn't sought medical care. He can barely walk and drinks only distilled water. A woman in the community has become his girlfriend. She is blind and also has MCS.
About MCS, he said, "It's a very real illness. You can't really understand unless you have it. I miss my old life every day. But I'm a fighter and I'm not ready to give up."
Print This Article
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesWestern Nationals Softball Tournament in Roseville and LincolnASA Softball is bringing the Western Nationals for the Girls B 10U & 12U divisions to the Placer Valley Area. The event is six days long, taking place from July 28-August 3.
Tahoe Public Projects Garner AttentionTahoe Transportation District has been recognized nationally and by the state of Nevada for its positive impacts, collaborative initiatives, environmental enhancement, and service to the community's
Rocklin National Night Out Events August 5thEach community member is invited to join their neighborhood watch group and the Rocklin Police Department for National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.
Recovery Plan for California Salmon and SteelheadNOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) jointly released two plans to restore populations of salmon and steelhead in California's Central Valley
Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (7.22.14)The Rocklin Police Department's crime report digest update for the period of July 15, 2014 - July 21, 2014.
Noodles & Company Opening Roseville and Rocklin LocationsNoodles & Company is opening two new locations in Roseville and Rocklin over the next two weeks.
Raley's Wins Telly AwardsRaley's has been awarded an astounding total of 24 Telly Awards in Commercial and Online Video categories
Summer Gas Prices Continue DroppingAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 4.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.94/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 720 gas outlets
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Offers Solid ValueAlthough the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander went through a much-needed redesign this year, note that the Sport model only made minor changes.
Family of 5: Saving Big on TV, Internet and PhonesRecently, we decided to reevaluate our Comcast and AT&T services due to the combination of poor customer service and pricing issues.
57 Year Old Sentenced in Mailbox Destruction CaseRichard Lee Gray, 57, of Foresthill, was recently sentenced to one year in prison for destroying U.S. Post Office letter boxes, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and
Traumatic Brain Injury Was DevastatingFour days after getting his driver's license at age 16 in 1975, Todd Bode was coaxed into joining his big brother on a road trip. The hook was that Bode would be allowed to drive.