Remembering our friend who advocated for patients with chronic illness
By Diane Blanchard, Vice Chair, GLA
Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) wants to say a fond goodbye to our dear friend, Rick LaPierre, who was a mold warrior, chronic illness advocate, President of Bio Science West, Inc. and Founder of the National Association for Moisture Management, a nonprofit group. Rick passed away Thursday, January 10th after a struggle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a lasting legacy. To know Rick was to love him. His winning personality and unconventional candor marked him as a wholly unique spirit. He touched people, leaving an unforgettable impression wherever he went.
Rick was an advocate for families struggling with illness from mycotoxins due to mold issues found in homes, schools and businesses. He also understood the complex relationship between mold mycotoxins, and Lyme and other tick-borne diseases whose sufferers, he would often say, “were his sickest clients.” His dedication to his clients was boundless. Once among his extended family clientele, you were forever in his protective embrace. He was always just one phone call away.
Rick seemed like an average guy, but he was really among the smartest, most well-read men we have met. He possessed a gregarious personality and a compassionate heart. He led his life with a laissez-faire attitude and a boldness that allowed him to experience some astonishing life moments. When he shared his funny stories, you felt fortunate to be in his presence and in awe of a life well-lived. Most importantly, it was the bravery and leadership he embodied which inspired him to enter the controversial field of healthy indoor air quality.
Using TM100—an organic, biodegradable non-toxic enzyme that consumes mold spores on contact—he set his mission to change the way we think in this country about indoor air quality. He brought his message to the White House, Congress, schools, and homes all over the country by establishing his non-profit with that singular mission in mind. Rick lived in service to others. Every day of his life was about making someone’s life better.
Once he entered your space, he informed you in detail about mold and the repercussions you faced by failing to address your air quality problem. At our former GLA office, he taught us about the danger of the indoor air quality and gave us the guidance to find a healthier space. He left his mark on the world in his too brief time, and for those of us who were recipients of his gifts, he was a blessing.
I met Rick almost six years ago in a Florida medical clinic where I happened to be with one of my children. He opened the door to a new world I had not understood and helped us better understand the harm of toxic indoor air quality, especially from the perspective of a patient already compromised from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
HIs intervention was a game changer for us. But Rick had this effect on many people he met. We learned not only to pay attention to our home air quality, but those of our schools, universities and businesses. Rick taught us many ways to address this while traveling as well. He cared not just about air quality, but about the health outcomes it affected and the potential of everyone to live a full life. His drive inspired one of my daughters to obtain a Master’s in Public Health, of which he was so proud. I don’t know if he even realized how much of an impact he had on our family and countless others. He helped so many of our friends, also within the GLA community, and we are all devastated by his passing.
No-one can fill the void he left. He was irreplaceable. However, we are fortunate that Rick imparted his knowledge and wisdom to his children, especially Rick Jr., allowing his legacy to live on. He used his many talents and unique gifts to make a difference in this world and to inspire the rest of us all to do the same. Rick was like a brother to me, who offered endless love and support to my family, his friends and acquaintances. He will be greatly missed. Thank you, Rick LaPierre, for gracing our lives.