Cancer: everyone has either experienced cancer or knows someone who has. It is the most feared word in the English language. I thought I was the last person who would ever get cancer, much less die from it. When cancer interrupted my life, I was a young man of 36, with a family, who was about to embark on an exciting new chapter in his life. I was preparing to go back to school to study architecture at the University of Cincinnati (fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming an architect). When I placed my faith in God many years earlier, He promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I would find out if that promise were true. From the initial diagnosis, to the time I died on the operating room table, to being faced with a (literally) life-or-death decision regarding the bone marrow transplant procedure, God never abandoned me. The doctors said my life was over, but God said, "Not Yet!"
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Daniel came into this world on a cold and bitter December night in 1963, on the banks of the Ohio River. After spending the first eleven years of his life in Northern Kentucky, Daniel began a nomadic journey that continues to this day. Oklahoma, the land of tornadoes and endless horizons, was the first stop, followed by New Jersey. After high school and some college and a couple of odd jobs, Daniel enlisted in the Air Force as an air traffic controller. His training and assignments took him to San Antonio, TX; Biloxi, MS; and Altus AFB, Altus, OK (of course you've never heard of Altus). Upon completion of his enlistment, he spent a year in Longmont, CO. Daniel enjoyed the soaring peaks and champagne powder of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Daniel moved on to Georgia, where he experienced several more diverse career fields designed to color his experience to develop his writing style (facetiousness intended). Although Daniel was raised in a Christian home, he strayed from his faith during his teen years. He came back to that faith his twenties: a faith that would be integral to his successful battle with "terminal" cancer. In 1996, Daniel met his lovely wife Linda. They married later that year and lived in her hometown, Andalusia, AL for as long as Daniel could stand it (almost a whole month). After a year and a half, Daniel and Linda moved to Jacksonville, FL. During their 4 1/2 year stay there, Daniel II was born, and a year later Daniel (senior) was diagnosed with cancer. Following a harrowing experience during which Daniel (senior) almost died, the Neffs packed up and headed to Maine to pursue their calling to work with troubled teenagers. They spent four years in the beautiful Pine Tree state, unwinding from the stress of dealing with agitated adolescents by taking in the rocky coast and scenic mountains and driving around looking for moose (mooses, meese, meeses?). Daniel and Linda retired from working with kids in trouble (or so they thought) and moved from Maine to Kentucky, specifically Lexington, the heart of Bluegrass Country. Horse farms everywhere you turn and rolling hills of waving fields of blue grass. Unable to secure meaningful, long-term employment in Kentucky, In the fall of 2008 they took a job as houseparents at a group home in North Carolina, the FINAL episode in their tenure in that industry. Daniel currently lives in western North Carolina with his wife Linda, their son Daniel, and their Golden Retriever Johnny Bud.