In 2005, just 5 months after our wedding, we got the call from Tina’s doctor that you hope you never get: she had been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. In that moment, before we had any opportunity to build a life together, we were faced with the very grim reality that we may not have any life together to build.
While there were fear-driven tears at first, we quickly turned to a characteristic we both share: we don’t care if the world tells us we can't do something, because if we want it, we’re going to do it anyway. Tina drew upon her indelible spirit, her bottomless well of positive energy, and her laser-like focus on healing. And I set out on a mission to use my scientific training and research skills to look under every rock, in every corner of the world, for any tool or weapon that would give her an advantage in her fight. Over the course of a year, I read virtually every scientific article from around the world and I explored nearly every western and non-western solution that existed. By the time I was done we had enlisted the help of dozens of doctors and researchers around the world, and had identified nearly 100 things that could help her in her fight.
Now, 13 years later, I am very proud to say that Tina not only rid herself of the melanoma tumors, but she is 11 years with no sign of any cancer!
After we celebrated Tina’s first of many “cancer-free” scans, I was able to turn my attention away from fighting the tumors that were now gone, to figuring out how to prevent cancer from ever coming back into our lives. I again turned to research from around the world to figure how to eliminate any risk that I could in our lives. Unfortunately, what I found was shocking: every day, everywhere around us, we are exposed to cancer-causing elements and toxins.
Armed with this information, we made many important changes to remove carcinogens from our environment. In 2010, however, my cancer prevention project got much larger when we bought a parcel of land to build our dream home. We spent plenty of time contemplating the “normal stuff”: what to build, how many rooms, what would they look like, what color should the walls be, etc. However, we also set out to build the healthiest, most non-toxic home on the planet to put our family in.
I spent the next six months engaging experts and doing research on weekends to figure out how to build a healthy home. Again, what I found was amazing and scary: there are an enormous number of cancer-causing, health-damaging elements and toxins in the construction of a home, many of which remain in the living environment for decades.
The good news, however, is that the collective body of work on creating a healthy home is very well studied in every single aspect of construction, from the chemical composition of the concrete foundation, to the structure and layout of the wiring in the walls, to the toxicity of the paint, wood, and other construction materials. In fact, in Germany, there is a science called BauBiologie, founded 40 years ago, that is entirely dedicated to the study of healthy living environments. Armed with these principals, I wrote a 37 page spec on how to build a healthy home… and then set out to do it!
Two and a half years later, after many of the harrowing challenges of home building that only those who have done it can truly appreciate, we moved into our Healthy Home. I am very proud that I created a wonderful, healthy living environment for my family. Moreso, I am proud that the healthiness of the home is very clearly noticed by others. For example, my contractor, who has built over 1,000 homes, told me that my project was the first one where he has never gotten headaches or sick during the construction process. At the end of it, he proclaimed that he is permanently changing a number of his building practices. Visitors to our home exclaim, "It doesn’t have that new house smell," to which I reply, "that's right, because that new house smell is full of VOCs and SVOCs that are dangerous to your health.” Even the technical consultant who came over to help set up our home network said that he’d never seen a signal-to-noise ratio so good. That’s because we wired our home to be virtually free of EMF.
While the house we created takes nearly every aspect of construction into consideration, the good news is that you don't have to do it all to have a big health impact. In fact, as with most things in life, there are a few simple things you can do to get a big “bang for you buck” and have a big impact.
Hence I decided to create this website, www.constructforhealth.com to share these tips so you too can create a healthy home for you and your family!