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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I've been waiting to hear from our mortgage company. I haven't missed a mortgage payment EVER, until this past November. Then, after getting a nasty letter from them (and why wouldn't I?), I called the number on the sheet. They began asking questions they'd never asked before. The first time I called and explained the situation I was told there was nothing that could be done to "freeze" the mortgage until we figured out what to do with the house.

After answering questions, I was sent a list of about 10 things I needed to provide the mortgage company, including recent tests to the home proving it was contaminated. Boy did I have recent tests. I sent the material and waited. And waited.

Today, while sitting in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, eating a coney dog (I had a coupon), the mortgage company representative called and informed me that they were indeed "freezing" our payments for 3 months, retroactive, and would re-evaluate at the end of January. Our credit would not be trashed during this time as I had feared. I nearly cried. This gives us room to breathe and figure out what to do without that huge debt hanging over us.

A great way to end 2008, I think.

And the coney dog wasn't half bad either.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I usually try to put a nice spin on things, looking at the positive rather than the negative, but Christmas week was not what I had hoped. Arizona was warm, until it began to snow, and the lemon tree in the back yard of the home where we stayed was an added perk I hadn't planned on. Still, this whole experience is weighing on us, and now Andrea is in AZ with five of the kids and I'm in Colorado trying to tie up loose ends and get some work done. We're thinking I may join her there, but things change so rapidly I don't even want to speculate.

Andrea began the "boot camp" as she calls it yesterday. I'll paste some of her thoughts below. This is a mix of home schooling and detox from the mold exposure.

I haven't heard from our mortgage company about the future of the house and whether they will give us relief. I haven't heard from the legal minds about our case. I did hear from the company that can clean the equipment and get it back to working order, but that will take at least a week. I'm discouraged by all of this, and yet I know that I'm not in control of any of it and just ask for the strength to get through today, which is about all any of us can hope for. If everything goes as planned, I'll do CFLive from Focus on the Family this week.

Thanks for your prayers. Here are some thoughts from Andrea.

Recovery day 1

I’ve been picturing this morning’s breakfast for more than a month. Really I’ve been picturing it for more than 18 months I just didn’t know it. Our four youngest children woke up today to a nebulizer, supplements, nasal sprays, hot breakfast and a swim.

We reached Oro Valley a few days before Christmas. The journey here was by far the most difficult, pain-filled season of life I could ever have imagined. It began in May of 2007 when I pulled up carpet in my daughter’s room. An innocent discovery led to a spiral of tragic and mysterious events which I will post later. In short, all 9 of my children became ill from toxic mold. The symptoms varied greatly but let me mention a few. Vertigo, migraines, seizures, type one diabetes, skin rashes, ringing in the ears, depression, short-term memory loss (this is my biggest and most debilitating symptom), abdominal pain, chronic colds, and balance disturbance. Again, these are just a few.

Three months ago we were advised by two leading mold experts to vacate our 5500 square foot home filled with clothes, furniture, baby books, and memories. We left on October 4th with the clothes on our backs and quickly disposed of those. After an outpouring of love and support from our amazing community we began a new life in a rented home close by all 4 schools. I honestly believed the experts were wrong. We would not have long term medical issues. My kids would do fine in their respective schools and not struggle with multiple chemical sensitivities as was suggested. We wouldn’t need medical testing to determine damage to our systems. Life would be better, I thought, because we were out of the house.

13 days after we moved out we rushed our 8 year-old to the emergency room with an “exploding head” and “pounding chest”. This was a common occurrence with Colin so I assumed it was nothing and life would , in fact, soon return to the normal I once knew. Our 12 year-old continued to appear ill and spoke of the chronic dizziness that had plagued him for the last year. I still couldn’t wake him up in the morning without numerous shakes and prods. The rashes that had plagued my 7 year-old were still there and my 10 year-old daughter still complained of headaches and motion sickness.

Still, I reasoned, my rash disappeared within days of our move as did my black tongue. Colin’s rashes on his hands slowly moved from the backs of his hands to his knuckles and finally his finger tips. Surely, things are getting better I thought. But deep down I knew. We needed medical help. I had been laying the groundwork to get insurance to cover a trip to Arizona to see Dr. Michael Gray. The toxicologist, Dr. Jack Thrasher ,continued to recommend him. Dr. Gray had talked with us at length the day after we moved out of our home and I was stunned at his knowledge. I trusted him.

As the days wore on and I continued to see the lack of progress I knew I had to take a risk. I could no longer wait for insurance to come beside me. I made appointments for Colin and Reagan on December 2 and 3. we packed our bags and Colin experienced his first plane ride ever to see a doctor in Benson Arizona. Dr. Gray’s office was not what I expected. A small adobe building overcrowded with patients in the middle of the desert. I questioned my decision to come with each hour we sat waiting to see him.

Then I saw something I have never seen. Dr. Gray came out into the waiting room and assured each of us our waiting was not in vain. When we did get to see him I felt a deep sense of anxiety. It took all of 3 minutes to know without a doubt he was the help we were seeking. He diagnosed Reagan with labyrinthitis…an inflammatory ear condition…he talked about his bone conduction and air conduction remaining as he has little hearing remaining in his left ear. He took a UV light and found numerous fungal colonies embedded in his skin. I never felt rushed and he answered all of my questions. In fact,we went to dinner with him and another family suffering from mold exposure. After months of deep struggle I was getting answers and things began to make sense.
The treatment protocol prescribed by Dr. Gray was extensive and daunting. It took 2 weeks to get all that I needed to begin but the reality of combining the regimen with “normal” life began to sink in. I felt so overwhelmed I could barely function. I knew that all of my kids would need to be treated as well as myself. I wondered about Chris and his office and unseen effects. I needed to take more kids to see him before I began the treatment. The holidays were approaching and the snow was keeping us indoors. I was losing what little bit of sanity I had left.

That's where her first entry ended, but you can sense a bit of the hope as well as the despair mixed in. Thanks again for your prayer support for us. We really appreciate it.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
On the Christmas Day edition of CFLive, we welcome our friends from behind the glass. Pictured below are Eric, Elizabeth, Shannon, and Tricia. Not pictured, Siri. And Ryan wasn't able to make the party. I hope you enjoy (enjoyed) our conversation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Leah called in on the Christmas Eve program and talked about a dress she had made. Here are some pics she sent us. Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us at CFLive!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
My friend, Sherry, asked about the drive from Colorado to Tucson. It took 13 hours with Ryan, Reagan and me. We stopped exactly two times for gas and one time for food. YES! The rest was pedal to the metal and hammer down and woooo hooooo! I love driving like a trucker.

Andrea was going to stay at a nice hotel in Sierra Vista, but she found a rental online and it even has a pool, which, if you have young ones, you know they will stay all day in the water. Unfortunately, today it is raining. How often does that happen in the desert? I'm not sure, but I hope it goes away soon. Plus, we're in the Oro Valley, which is where the radio station is where I'm broadcasting. It's literally about 10 minutes away. (And if Tucson is any indication of the economy, we're going to be okay this year as far as Christmas sales. Traffic galore!)

Thanks for all your prayers for us as we try to figure out our lives and move forward. The chirren seem to be getting better already. Their skin rashes that came back are dissipating with fungal treatments, shampoos, and meds. Brandon showed me his arm yesterday and the things was as smooth as his bottom when he came into this world. It's been a long time since his upper arm hasn't had some kind of weird rash going on.

Merry Christmas from the Fabry family. Two of us are not here, but we're thinking of them and of you. May you have a wonderful Christmas celebration this year!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The home we had hoped to stay in while in Arizona didn't work out, but we're looking for alternatives. Two daughters, Megan and Kristen, set off today, Saturday, and made the trek. It's about a 12 hour drive. On Sunday morning, Ryan, Reagan, and I will make the trip together and we are planning a man-drive. None of this stopping to pee stuff. We are pointing the car south and we aren't stopping until the gas light turns yellow. Plus, we are going to tell jokes and laugh and make funny noises and spit out the window. And we might even buy some beef jerky and drink Mountain Dew.

You can tell it's close to Christmas, can't you.

It looks like all but two of our chirren will be with us in Arizona, and the little ones are a 'pinin for their father to come throw them in the hotel pool. I can't wait to see them and relieve their mother from her duties. Plus, we haven't had our anniversary dinner yet! I'm hoping she gest me some flowers, of course.

Thanks for all of your prayers for our family. We see some hope in this situation and are looking for the pony in the barnyard, if you know what I mean.

One of my daughters said yesterday, "Well, this will be a lot better Christmas than last year."

I had to stop and think. How could being out of our home, out of my office, unable to retreive anything, going to see a doctor in another state and staying away from our rented home, no Christmas tree, etc., etc., how could that be better than last year.

And then I remembered last year. Reagan was so sick he could hardly stand. He had constant vertigo. He was just a mess, physically. This year, at least we are all ambulatory! And we have much to give thanks for. Part of that is you and your concern to read these rambling words. Thank you. And a Merry Christmas to you.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I know you folks like to see pictures of our guests and since I'm in Colorado and the guests are usually in Chicago, I don't get my picture taken with them. Usually Eric or Tricia or both are standing with them. Take a look. The one above is of Carolyn McCulley and Collin Lambert.

This is Greg Stielstra with Tricia and Eric.

Here is our Christmas crew, Eric, Elizabeth, Shannon, and Tricia. Don't they look festive!!!

Last, but not least, is Screwtape himself, Max Mclean.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Hello All,

Let me ramble, as I often do. Monday we tested my office for mold spores. A dear listener actually sent the funds to do this testing and we are grateful. I wear a chemical splash suit every day I walk in there. I had thought that I was okay working in the office because there are
no common vents from the house.

As usual, I was wrong.

Evidently with me, the kids, Andrea, and our dogs coming in and out of the room, we brought in a significant number of spores. The culprit this time is penicillium aspergillius. About 650,000 spores per gram. There were 2.9 million spores in the room and pen asp should be no more than 1-2% of the spores. I'm not good at math, but 650K is more than 2%. Our dr. in AZ said, "Don't go in that room without scuba gear on." It's hard doing a show in scuba gear.

The good news is that the spores aren't stachybotrys. With pen asp, you can clean the electronics, hepa them, test them, and be pretty certain that the equipment is okay. But I don't know how long it will take to have someone clean them. And then I need to find a new place to broadcast.

My plan is to broadcast from Focus on the Family today and tomorrow. They have been such good friends over the years and they are opening their doors to the likes of me. I'm grateful. Then I'm hoping to drive to AZ with the other kids and get to Andrea near Tucson. Hey, it's our anniversary today!!! Yippee! What a world.

Andrea spent the night with Erin, our oldest, in the ER in Tucson. Something about her heart. Shannon stayed with the little kids at the hotel. All have tested positive for fungal growths after our massive exposure to toxins. It will take years to reverse this, and even then there may be permanent damage.

Merry Christmas from the Fabrys and I hope your year was just as good as ours. :)

I just sent an email to our mortgage company asking for relief and including test results, possible legal action, etc. I'm hoping for some relief from them.

Something really bad is going on here. This doesn't feel like the normal vicissitudes of life. And where bad things happen, God usually shows up, and we've seen that in a big way. I can't tell you, well I could, but I would just weep through the whole thing, of all the people, known and anonymous, who have helped out. Our church has been great. The teachers at school, those poor, penniless teachers raised $$ for us. Boy Scouts and neighbors. A guy at Focus gave me all of his old dress shirts, and they weren't that old. His wife said, "My husband has lost weight and we thought you could wear these." Dr. Gary Chapman has been unbelievably kind to us, and so have many others.

I now have more dress shirts than I've ever owned in my life but no house and no office.

The good news is that in the testing, we also had the house we're currently renting evaluated and it is fine, thank God. We thought we'd cross-contaminated, but that one is okay.

I'm fully expecting Satan to rise from the desert and try to smite us as we drive to Arizona. But greater is he who is in me than he who controls the mold. That's a rough paraphrase of the New Fabry International Version.

Thanks for your prayers. We are going to come out on the other side of this much stronger, I think. We realize how little control we have over any of this and are just taking small steps each day to keep going. This is going to be a Christmas to remember because I know we will never forget it. And I hope we never forget the kindness, the many people praying, and the wonderful friends we have who are going through this with us. I know we are not alone.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008
My brother was part of a ceremony last weekend where he and other classmates from the U.S. Military Academy class of 1974 laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I found it very moving and thought you might like to see it. The video is hand-held and a bit grainy, but worth the few minutes it takes to watch. Click VIDEO to watch.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I am going to tell you something that shocked me, not because it was outlandish in and of itself, but because it was spoken by the wife of my youth and I NEVER expected her to say this. Our anniversary is this Thursday, and for the first time in 26 years it looks like we will be apart on that day.

Now, she did not utter a profanity, though I have pushed her to that a few times before in our marriage. It was not some scandalous thing she said about someone. She did not lie. She did not say, "I am leaving you!"

Early on in our mold travail, when we were just out of the house a few days, I tried to cajole Andrea into looking at the bright side of things. "Come on, honey, think of it. We could live anywhere in the country! No mortgage to tie us down. (And no equity either.) We can fly!"

She looked at me with those big brown eyes of hers, saying in essence, "No way. I'm not buying it."

She made the point that the children, after going through the physical and mental trauma they've experienced, did not need to be separated from their friends. Their schools and teachers and our church were their anchors. They needed stability. They needed familiarity. We needed to give them every ounce of "normalcy" we could.

So imagine my face and my big brown eyes, though they are kind of hazel, when she called late last week and said, "You're not going to believe this, but I think we ought to move to Arizona."

Now it's Monday morning and I am staring at two plastic bins by my side where the remnants of Colin and Brandon's clothes sit. The house is quiet, which it usually is early in the morning, but it's going to stay quiet because I took Andrea and four of the children to the airport last night and put them on a plane to Arizona.

The kids were not getting better here. There is so much medicine and so many different ways to treat them, and she believes, as I do now, that being in the climate near Tucson will not only help them (instead of being inside with snow outside) but will help her learn how to treat them--because she's closer to the doctor we think can help.

This all may fall through, but even in the past week we've seen God doing some amazing things. I can't go into all of it, but we feel like God is pushing us toward a desert. It's already been a desert-like experience in a lot of ways.

So I will finish work this week and drive down there over the weekend. I'm hoping to do the radio show from Tucson early next week, but that's up in the air as well.

If you are among those who have been praying, thank you. Continue to do that because I think that's the best thing you could do right now. We feel in a lot of ways like we're being buoyed by the prayers of friends as we try to keep our heads above the fray.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Andrea and I record a program each week with Dr. Gary Chapman who wrote The Five Love Languages. He's not only a NY Times bestselling author, he's also a great speaker on the radio, and he's kind and compassionate, always asking about our situation with the house, always offering to help in tangible ways. I don't think we could have a better friend in North Carolina.

We've recorded programs through December and the first topic we're hitting in January is "Couples in Crisis." The best writing advice is "write what you know," and it's the same with radio. Talk about what you know, what you're experiencing. So we'll record with him tomorrow and talk about some of the stuff we've been through in the past 18 months.

One thing we're accustomed to at this time of year, is disappointment. Our anniversary is a week before Christmas. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Last year, we had one child just out of the hospital and several others at varying stages of illness. We got everything set and for our anniversary thought, "We'll just have one meal together, alone, at a restaurant."

About a mile from the restaurant the phone rang and we turned around and went back home. It was disappointing. But the really great thing about this whole experience has been that we haven't let the crushing weight of what has come against us rip us apart. I'm not saying we agree about everything and I'm certainly not saying we don't argue. But our main goal here is survival and helping the children get well again, and when you come together for that kind of goal, it's hard to be torn apart. Not saying it can't happen, but by God's grace, we've been unified.

Maybe your family is going through some kind of crisis this year. Maybe even having a tree in the house and twinkling lights is the last thing you could imagine at this point. Don't give up hope and don't let the circumstances rip you and those you love apart.

Laughter helps, and I'm prone to more of it and she is prone to less. But I think she'd admit that my ability to smile through the misery has helped a bit. And her ability to tenaciously hang onto information and follow procedures has helped me tremendously.

The main glue to all of this is our relationship with God. If it weren't for that, I'd have plunged over the cliff long ago. For some reason, and I believe there is a purpose behind all this, God has allowed us to walk through this valley. Most of the time we've been carried. Allowing him to carry us through crisis is the best way to come out the other side whole.

Monday, December 8, 2008
Here is the first email Robert sent, just so you can see the text of it:

Chris, I have been listening to your show the past couple of days. I think you must be a solid and caring father and husband and give kudos to you for talking about your faith-something very hard to talk about.

However, from what I have gathered from your show you seem to focus on pushing religion and steamrolling those who might not share your views such as Oprah and now "humanists."

Truthfully, I dont know what I "am". I am a baptized Catholic, but dont really have a relationship with God..I guess I am in the ambiguous searching stage. I' wouldnt call myself a "humanist" so I think my thoughts are objective.

You seem so upset that some people want to take religion out of Christmas and just want others to be "good for goodness sake". Isnt that the point of Christmas? Worshiping or honering your particualr God is not the part of Christmas that helps others and makes others feel loved and welcomed. It IS the "being good" that spreads welfare and brings others those feelings I mentioned. It is in "being good" that people feed the poor, give gifts, and act with kindness.

Jesus did stand for these attributes of kindness and giving, but so do other people-regardless of religion. Does that mean humanists or athiests for that matter are perfect? Of course not, we all have faults. However, dont you think that being good just "because" is better than being good because of a reward one would get from God?

I guess my point is that religion can spark other people to do good-if religion is interpreted in a responsible way, which often it is not. Doing good just "because" is more noteworthy because then you are acting upon your conscience and not because of a book. Religion teaches us to do good, but the bible also has bad things which many so called Christians have performed. It is not humanists or athiests that have started wars and fights, but the overly zealous religious.

Remember, religions have some noble, brave, and kind individuals as members. Athiests abd humanists also have members with these attributes. Both groups have members that hurt others and have morals that don’t fit in with the common good of our society.

Finally, your guest compared Hitler to humanists or athiests. Hitler was insane and did not have normal values. Values that athiests are pushing this Christmas season like just being good for Humanaties' healthy for our society.

Religion is not the answer to making the world a better place, kindness is. We ALL need to work on it.
Best of luck in your career and endeavors, take care!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I didn't do Chris Fabry Live today. For the first time since May 5, other than holidays, I had Collin Lambert fill in for me. My unbroken string was snapped because of several events that made the perfect storm.

My wife, Andrea, took two of our sons, Colin and Reagan, to see a doctor in Arizona to see if he can help us with their recovery from problems stemming from a toxic mold exposure. She was supposed to return Wednesday, but because of extra testing, had to change the flight to Thursday.

Brandon, who is in the second grade, was counting on his mother to be in the audience for this performance of King Bidgood's in the Bathtub. It's an award-winning book for children about a King who won't get out of the bathtub and the people of the kingdom try to figure out how to get him out. Music goes along with the telling of the story. (Don't worry, I won't spoil the ending.)

It was just the 2nd grade class and a few parents in the music room. It only lasted about 15 minutes or so. It wasn't really a big deal.

Except to Brandon.

And part of what we've been trying to do with the kids since we've moved out of our house is keep things "normal." So today, on the 2 month anniversary of the day we left our home, I decided not to ask one of his older siblings to sit in for one of us, I decided that I'm the one who needed to be there and watch him perform.

And it was a big deal.

To me.

Because I got to see him do something he just loved doing. I got to enter his world for a few minutes and listen to his music teacher--who is fantastic, by the way. And I was able to stop all the important stuff, all the things that I think are special, and do something that will really last. A memory of the king in the bathtub, the courtiers who wanted him to come out, and a little boy playing a cymbal and smiling at his dad.

So if you were wondering where I was today, that's the story. In a sense, I was in the bathtub with the king and my son. It was a good day.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I hesitate to write this before I get to talk with Andrea in-depth, but I wanted to give a preliminary update on the trip to Arizona. Andrea took Reagan and Colin to see a doctor there we believe might be able to help them.

One of the first things he did with Reagan was to determine that his hearing loss may not be permanent. That's going to be huge for him because right now he only needs half of an i-pod. He's like George Bailey without the Hee Haw. That's good news.

Andrea is with the doctor still. This evening she and the boys and another family who have gone through much the same as we have are having dinner with him to ask questions and hopefully get direction. If what I think is true, this may be a wholesale change in the way their treatment goes.

Bottom line, I heard a lot of hope in her voice. She kept saying, "I'm so glad we came. I'm so glad we came."

Thanks for your prayers.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I took Andrea and two of the boys to the Denver airport Monday. I-25 was inching along and the road was still icy. I could barely see out the windshield and couldn't see a thing behind us because of the grime on the back window.

Colin was scared to fly in the plane. He was up late Sunday night complaining that he didn't want to go. I told him there was very little chance of the plane going down and in the event of a water landing, there was always his seat cushion. I don't think that helped.

We hugged and kissed everyone, then I drove away. A few minutes later Andrea called in tears. We were wondering if she'd have trouble with the insulin and needles she had to bring, but it turns out there was something wrong with the tickets and there was more than concern in her voice. I told her if anyone can get on a plane, it's her.

Tonight my cell phone rang. It was Colin. "Hi Dad. We're in this rented car in Arizona and it's really cool." He proceeded to tell me how there are chairs in the car and that they swivel and are really cool.

"How did you like the plane ride?"

"It was awesome," he said. All of the fear from the night before was gone. He said he was even getting along with his brother "pretty good."

Their doctor's appointment is Tuesday afternoon. We're hoping to get some answers about their conditions that we haven't had so far. Then, Wednesday evening we'll pick them up at the airport. This really has been a doctor's visit we've been waiting to have for months.

In the picture, I am standing next to Reagan, who's in Arizona. Colin is in the foreground in the middle with his "expander smile." I wondered if he would get through security at the airport without setting off the buzzer.

We all got together for Thanksgiving, and then, two days later went out to celebrate my son's 18th birthday. Here's a shot of the entire clan. Andrea left today, 12/1, for Arizona with two of the boys to see if the doctor there can help in their illnesses.