Heaven Can Wait (Indoor Mold Case Study)

(based on a true story)

By ServiceMaster NCR
Greg Gandee


Being diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer is devastating, but when you have a wife and 2 children, your whole life comes to a stop.  Our 42 year old friend was the proverbial healthnut, watching his diet, running several miles a day, trim and fit.  But there he was being admitted to the hospital for immediate chemotherapy and surgery. Word quickly spread and church members took care of the children as family members came in from out of town so his wife could be by his side.

It was so unexpected and everyone’s nerves were on edge.  Was Dan going to make it?  Would he survive the surgery and chemotherapy?  How could he be given the best chance to make the momentous crossing from being treated for cancer to being a cancer survivor once he got home?

After chemotherapy, your immune system is severely compromised and pathogens that your body normally fight off, now become defenseless.  The German Society of Hygiene, Environmental Medicine and Preventative Medicine, (AWMF) 2016 states, “the risk for infections from indoor mold is low for healthy individuals but for immunocompromised individuals, mold growth in structures cannot be tolerated.”

Mold Testing

His family did their research, so in addition to all the furniture being rearranged for his return and trip hazards removed, they went about cleaning the home, top to bottom.  They cleaned over and under everything in the house – all the books in the bookshelf, all toys cleaned and sanitized, bathroom, kitchen, behind dressers, sofas and on and on.  Nothing was left to chance.  When they were finished and proud of their work, they called me to come and test the air to make certain that their efforts were “pathogen free” especially for mold.

I used InstaScope® to perform the testing as it has the most credibility in the scientific community and also provides real-time results that allow me to identify exactly where a problem may be.  I tested the Living Room, the Recreation Room, kitchen, bath and especially his bedroom where he would be spending most of his time.  All the tests came out with very low mold readings.

Welcome home

I was about to leave when it occurred to me that I should specifically test his bed.  It was a good thing I did.  When we pulled back the comforter, the mold counts went through the roof showing very dangerous levels.  We immediately removed the comforter, sealed it in plastic and sent to the dry cleaner.

When inspecting for mold, it is easy to overlook items that in the past have been difficult to test, e.g. drapes, clothing and bedding, etc.  New and improved technologies, such as InstaScope, give us the ability to easily inspect these items. Using this type of technology may save the lives of loved ones and speed recovery for those who have immunocompromised situations.


I’m happy to announce that Dan has had a full recovery, working daily and enjoying his family.  I take comfort in knowing that part of his recovery was due to prayers, science, and new technology like InstaScope that prevented him from having complications due to mold on his comforter. Gratification indeed!