This story, heart-wrenching for me personally and heart-breaking for my daughter, is hard to write. Let's begin with the photo above of her husband, Chuck Hood, being loaded into an ambulance after 44 days at Baptist Hospital in Miami, on his way to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for a heart transplant. He leaves behind in North Miami my daughter, Christina Clowdus-Hood, pictured on the left with a sleeping 2-year-old, Morgan, nestled on her left shoulder, and their beautiful adopted daughter Melody, 15, their little soccer star Reagan, 7, and their multi-talented son Grant, 10. (Chuck also is the stepfather of Zack, 17, a handsome high school senior, and Cody, 22, a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Yes, I am indeed a proud grandmother and appreciative of the loving, generous man that my daughter was wise enough to marry nearly 14 years ago.) Please help Christina bridge the present challenging gap to an entirely different future, as the result of her husband's illness and his inability to work for months that depleted their savings as they tackled ever-growing daily expenses. They have little expectation that he will soon be able to work again, their hopes dashed after a devastating diagnosis that forced Chuck, 53, to decline a new job set to start Nov. 28. Christina now faces an onslaught of unexpected medical expenses, normal bills and home expenses, and sharply rising health insurance premiums as she navigates the unfamiliar territory of seeking emergency assistance for her family recent applications all declined due to Chuck's 2015 income selling their home and looking for work to supplement her part-time pay as a certified youth soccer coach. They would never ask for help, so I am asking for them. Chuck's condition, cardiac amyloidosis as the result of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, requires such a large team of experienced surgeons that no transplant center in Florida was willing to accept the risks. Currently, Dr. Rodney Falk in Boston, considered to be the country's leading expert in cardiac amyloidosis and who leads the transplant team from Harvard Medical School faculty, says that Chuck's heart may be now too weak even to run the tests required to determine if he can be registered as a transplant recipient. The initial weakness when Chuck arrived in Boston near midnight on Nov. 16 could be as much from the stress of his last week at Baptist Hospital, when the insurance company at first approved his transport, then delayed it, as it is from the effects of the disease. Both Grant and Reagan slept in his hospital bed nightly with him, the rest slept in chairs at his bedside, all reluctant to leave his side. The onset of Chuck's illness seemed to be incredibly fast, nearly overnight, yet Dr. Falk's reconstruction of his symptoms revealed that the cancer had begun its insipid spread through Chuck's strong, healthy body nearly four years ago. First was the carpal tunnel syndrome that did not respond to conventional treatment, growing gradually worse over the next three years until Chuck's fingers and hands weakened, grew numb, and eventually lost nearly all dexterity. Working at handyman projects around their home or at their church, where he served as a Sunday School teacher for years, Chuck suffered so much pain in his hands he could not sleep at night; however, being the soldier he was formerly a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army for three years, followed by six years in the Army Reserves he pushed through the pain and did whatever needed to be done, using self-deprecating humor to deflect others' concern over his increasing clumsiness. Shortly thereafter, his knees began to swell, then back pain beset him, which was caused he reasoned by weight gain, not realizing it was simply retained water. His jaw began to slowly swell, yet no tumors were detected, so his doctors remained unalarmed. His speech gradually grew less distinct. In addition to his primary physician, he saw a rheumatologist and a cardiologist, who prescribed beta-blockers. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Even more medications were prescribed, and he continued to push through the pain. A non-smoker, his blood vessels were clear, yet he was forced to an emergency room in July, which revealed a chest full of water surrounding his heart and lungs. The fluid was drained, additional expensive medicines prescribed, another cardiologist appointment made, and he was sent home. Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he could sleep in only short spurts and only sitting up. He struggled until Oct. 3, when four blood clots in his lungs forced another emergency room visit. Doctors also found then an enlarged heart with thickened ventricular walls and a faulty heart valve. A bone marrow biopsy showed the onset of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, and his other symptoms pointed to cardiac amyloidosis, confirmed by a biopsy by the Mayo Clinic. The cancer turns blood proteins into fibers that replace muscle tissue in the body's organs. Treatment and long-term management of the blood cancer would require stem-cell therapy, the oncologist told my daughter, a procedure so rigorous, Chuck's heart would not withstand it, said the cardiologist. Chuck had no choice. He must have a heart transplant first. In the meantime, Christina continues to home-school her children, who were frightened by their dad's symptoms, especially his growing weakness and his tongue swelling too large for his mouth. Reagan, Morgan and Grant now shadow their mom during the day and crawl into her bed at night. Grant complains of nausea and eats little, although there is plenty of food provided by Christina's soccer team parents and by their church family, who bring them dinner each night. Casseroles so abundant that they also provide breakfast and lunch the next day. Christina continues to take her children to soccer practices and games and to other parents' homes who belong to the same home-schooling network in an attempt to provide some normalcy for her children, she says, while their dad is 1,500 miles away. She wants so much more for them, but most of all, she wants their dad to stay alive, which they need more than anything else, more perhaps than even their father understands. She now depends on her faith and on the kindness and generosity of family, friends and even strangers to build that bridge to whatever the future holds for them. Please help them, if you can. Please share this post with your friends and email your contacts, but most of all, please pray for Chuck, Christina and their beautiful children.