Interview of Jennie Sherwin
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Author of "Intentional Healing: One Woman's Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses." Experiences Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Author of "Intentional Healing: One Woman's Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses." Experiences Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
- Sherwin, Jennie
- Persons Present:
- Sherwin and Bloom
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted by telephone.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- The interview was conducted by Molly Bloom, MA, Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Bloom’s dissertation focuses on community among people with disabilities.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator as well as: Environmental Working Group and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne," Rachael Wakefield-Rann, “Chemical Showers: How Daily Routines Structure Our Exposures to Toxicants," and Brian Joseph, “Is ‘Fragrance’ Making Us Sick?"
- 1.5 hrs
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Childhood in Bayonne, New Jersey--Middle-class upbringing in Italian-Polish family, importance of family and family gatherings, mother stressed the need for a good education--Sensitivity to sulfa drugs as teen and misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia for 13 years until treatment with Dr. William Ray for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas--Works at Random House as an editor, then public health consulting as writer and editor--Elavil for muscle pain, how disability affected daily life with her son and her work--Exposure to chemicals during fumigation--Treatment with Dr. Ray for MCS, unmasking sensitivities, eating rotational diet, living in housing with safe materials--Moves to Santa Fe, husband also diagnosed with MCS--Wants to spread awareness of MCS, have it recognized as real illness by insurance companies