His symptoms began with dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and edema in the ankles, feet and calves. After visiting with multiple doctors, in 2007 Len Strickland was diagnosed with familial (hereditary) amyloidosis, a rare hereditary disease that eventually leads to congestive heart failure.
After approximately a year of tests, in March 2008, Len was officially placed on the regional heart transplant list. The categories of placement on the list are 1A, 1B and 2 with 1A being the most severe. Len was told he had been designated as a type 2 and to keep his hopes for a heart transplant to a minimum.