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Californian with MCS has Amazing Turnaround

In February, I featured here Mario Casella, a Californian fighting the ultimate battle against liver disease, which he had because of poor lifestyle choices years ago, and multiple chemical sensitivity, which involved an acute sensitivity to everyday chemicals.

His body was wasting away, he said. Due to being physically sensitive to chemicals in products like household cleaners, cologne, and bleach, Mario had been sleeping outside in an environmentally safe community in Texas, near the homes of others facing chemical sensitivity challenges.

After his column published, I received an urgent email from a reader saying Mario was missing and fearing for his life. I emailed Mario, urging him to immediately find a hospital emergency room. On my Facebook page, I asked readers to pray.

I feared he passed away. He was only 39.

Out of the blue recently, he emailed an update, saying, "Daniel, I was in the hospital and almost died. I had hypothermia and was malnourished, weighing just 96 pounds. I am 6" tall. I can't explain what happened other than it was a miracle, but somehow I improved after being in ICU three days and Dallas Regional (hospital) two weeks."

At other times, Mario's health had worsened in hospitals due to his acute reactions to hospital cleaning chemicals-but not this one time.

He continued, "I was jaundiced and had edema in my ankles and hands, and my liver enzymes at first were way high. They ended up saying my liver was fine. And I can't explain how my (chemical) sensitivities went down so much so fast other than there was a lot of prayer I would make it through."

After leaving the Texas hospital, Mario returned to California only to learn his daughter Ashley had experienced an aneurysm with a one percent survival rate. She's alive today too, using a wheelchair and improving.

He said, "God is real is all I can say. When first arriving at (the Dallas hospital), I was very sensitive (to chemicals) still. But after going to bed in an isolation room there, I awoke with my sensitivities greatly reduced. From that day forward, my sensitivities have been returning little by little."

Lately, Mario has been sleeping outside again to protect his fragile health. He only recently began receiving federal disability payments. To view photos of Mario before and after hospital, and alongside his daughter, visit "Disabilities by Daniel J. Vance" in Facebook.

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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

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