Why Do I Work Here?
By Cesar Collado
MicroBalance Health Products (MBH) was created to fill a real unmet medical need. That need was for Chronic Rhinosinusitis (“CRS”) sufferers to have targeted, effective therapies to treat the cause, rather than the symptoms of their disease. CRS is the number 1 chronic disease in America affecting up to 50 million patients. These patients get sinusitis at least 6 times per year, and each episode can last over a month. Patients are usually treated over and over again with antibiotics, allergy medications, and sometimes multiple surgeries. None of those treatments address the actual CAUSE of 96% of CRS cases: mold.
When I first met Dr. Dennis, it was immediately obvious to me that he is physician on a personal mission. His desire to help as many patients as he could that were suffering from fungal sinusitis and mold sickness has been consistent for over 3 decades. He primarily focuses on the research, development, education and treatment mold-related illness and the need to acknowledge and address it as debilitating disease. He shared with me the plight of some of his most serious patients who, in some cases, have suffered for decades without the ability to function, work, care for their families, experience wellness, or enjoy life. He also shared some of the miraculous results from some once hopeless, debilitated patients. Of particular notice, was the amount of time he spent with patients to not only understand their symptoms, but to investigate their home environments as the real source or cause of their illness.
Dr. Dennis began formulating mold-specific therapies first for his patients. He was having a compounding pharmacy produce products to sell to his chronic sinusitis patients that were an alternative to steroids and antibiotics at affordable prices. MBH was then founded in 2009 with a mission to make Dr. Dennis’ products, available to “thousands” of suffering mold patients. MBH was very small, almost a “hobby” at this point. But, since good news travels quickly, success stories built and the products gained momentum and loyal users all over the world.
The products are elegant in their simplicity, cost effective, and provide quick and effective relief for chronic sinusitis sufferers, most of whom could not otherwise escape debilitating symptoms through the traditional medical treatments of antibiotics for bacterial infection, steroids for inflammation, and surgical intervention. The products sought a cure beyond traditional diagnostics and focused on treating the “whole picture,” including a person’s home and body.
Dr. Dennis’s holistic and causal way of thinking about health, illness, and disease was “novel” for a physician in my opinion. Removing mold from a patient’s indoor air allowed his/her body to heal on its own. Conversely, all the medicine in the world would only remove the symptoms without removing the cause, mold.
The MBH Story:
Two decades ago, a particularly difficult to treat, suffering patient, who had endured 5 surgeries to remove nasal polyps inspired Dr. Dennis’ “mold epiphany.”
The patient arrived at Dr. Dennis’ office for a scheduled medical appointment after a two-week vacation to the beach and declared that he felt the best he had in years. To add
credence to his claim, his endoscopic sinus exam showed that his sinuses were completely clear. Dr. Dennis carefully listened to the patient’s testimony and the conditions at the specific beach (temperature, salt air, and sunlight). He recognized that this beach situation presented a “Mold-Free Environment.”
The Mayo Clinic Study in 1999
Almost simultaneously, an independent study, published by the Mayo Clinic in 1999, validated Dr. Dennis’s notion that the presence of mold was potentially the cause of sickness in the vast majority of chronic sinusitis patients. This discovery; however, was met with skepticism by traditional ENTs.
Over time, with new endoscopic technology, surgeons could not deny the presence of “fungal balls,” living and reproducing mold colonies in the sinuses that had to be removed surgically. This led to a subset of ENT physicians beginning to recognize a pattern in chronic sinusitis. CRS Patients would alternate between fungal and bacterial sinusitis. The fungal infection would create an environment for bacteria to grow and vice versa.
Inspired to dig deeper, he began testing for mold on the clothes patients were wearing to their appointments and asking patients to test their homes for mold. Many tests revealed extremely high levels of mold spores on both their clothing and in their living environments. Some of the molds represented in the tests were molds that produce mycotoxins that secrete potent neurotoxins. The presence of the neurotoxins could explain the neurological, cognitive and motor function symptoms experienced by CRS patients. Simultaneous testing of these same patients’ sinuses also identified the physical presence of mold. Dr. Dennis hypothesized that their homes were making them sick. With mold being a year-round antigen and as prevalent as bacteria, his quest to aid patients in creating a “Mold Free Environment” in their living spaces and in their sinuses began.
Dr. Dennis then began research and development of products for his patients to remove mold from their sinuses, homes, and clothes. The products he developed were safe and all natural, capitalizing on the potent antifungal and antibacterial properties of various natural botanical extracts discovered and published on since the late 1970’s.
Since 2014, I have been a part of a team of individuals at MBH that are focused on spreading valuable patient education that enables patients to do what is required to get well. I have also had the opportunity to work with Bau-Biologists (Building Science), Remediators, Naturopathic Doctors, and some other thought leaders on addressing the often ignored, year-round antigen.
We research and write new information, and develop and distribute effective products to help patients whose needs are not being met by their other health care providers. To date, Micro Balance Health Products has introduced numerous products to address mold in the sinuses, home building materials, furnishings, air, and clothes. These products have been made available to everyone, with more in development.
Why Me and Why Microbalance?
My background is anchored in biopharmaceutical drug discovery and technology acquisition in the life sciences through business transactions. For the better part of 2 ½ decades, I focused on bringing new technologies to drug discovery science focused on treating several diseases states with unmet medical needs. We focused on the acquisition and integration of the many new innovations of the 90’s including computing, automation, physics, new biology, chemistry, computational modeling, process engineering, human genetics, and several others to move drug discovery from test tubes toward the advance processes like nanotechnology that exist today. The discovery and development of many of the breakthrough medicines we hear about or see on television commercials benefited from these technologies.
In 2011, I took some time off to help with my elderly parents. During my sabbatical, I became disenchanted with the pharma industry, mainly because of pricing. I decided it was time for a change. Following that, I used my experience of evaluating and developing technology at a technology start-up accelerator at Georgia Tech, Flashpoint. The program focused in helping high-potential start-ups find “authentic demand” for their ideas and then develop products to address this demand. The companies I advised, coached, and mentored were able to find customers that “cannot not” buy the products or insist on buying these products immediately, even prior to final development. These products met a need that it elevated company performance and satisfaction.
In 2014, I was introduced to Dr. Dennis by his brother, a friend. I recognized MBH as a company with a primary focus on meeting an unmet medical need. It leveraged a technology that was elegant and simple. The company’s mission was focused on helping any and all patients in need. The application of the products was cost effective. And most importantly, they worked. I was able to witness countless results in the patients who had been sick for decades, financially broke, and had spent everything they had on healthcare solutions that did not work.
Treatment of environmental illness by most physicians were what I believed to be “half measures.” For example:
- Many physicians did not understand or were not taught about mold sickness.
- Mold mycotoxin poisoning were not as well understood and often mistaken for other diseases with similar symptoms. Patients continued to live their lives while suffering miserably.
- The environment at a patient’s home is most often not addressed. Doctors are not taught that line of questioning nor do they have the ability to spend quality time with each patient to investigate thoroughly.
- I realized that the burden to identify and address environmental illness fell on the patient and not the physicians.
This was an opportunity that was perfect for me. The mission was at the core of why I went into healthcare in the first place– to make a difference. It leveraged my background, start-up engineering competencies from Flashpoint, and MBH was not a pharmaceutical company model that focused on pricing and profitability. Most importantly, these easy-to-afford and use solutions worked magic with many patients. They changed their lives.
Dr. Dennis and MBH has been a pleasure to work with. His practice schedules patients in a manner that he can take time to sleuth and find the cause. The company and employees are patient focused. Working with trustworthy, dedicated individuals is inspirational and patients’ lives improving rather quickly is very satisfying.
Each week, I have the opportunity to research and write about topics that connect me with mold patients. I also enjoy receiving requests and feedback. I am on a mission to help patients suffering from mold. It is my hope to build this into a community where patients and healthcare providers help each other.
For questions, comments or to share your story, please comment below.
Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical R&D executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant in biotechnology and technology industries in general. He currently works as an advisor to multiple technology start-ups and advises several companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness