Octogenarian Cancer Survivor Enjoys a Sweet Life After Treatment

“You know, it was a pleasure to come to treatment after I saw how the staff treat me, how friendly they were to me … I actually looked forward to coming here every day.”

Retired farmer, bear hunter and baking enthusiast George McNeff was diagnosed with prostate cancer in spring of 2018. He credits the care he received from Jacksonville Memorial Hospital staff for returning him to the sweet life.

“It was a little scary when I was first diagnosed. I didn’t know what to expect,” said George, 80, of Mount Sterling. “I have to have 37 of these radiation treatments?! But it was a pleasure to come here after I saw how the staff treated me and how friendly they were.”

Jacksonville Memorial Hospital features a state-of-the-art linear accelerator, which uses high-energy radiation to damage the DNA of cancer cells and destroy their ability to divide and grow. The staff of highly trained professionals work closely with patients during treatment.

“George looked forward to coming over here,” said George’s wife, Donna. “That sounds crazy, but he really did.”

Outgoing by nature, George was born at home in Brown County. He remembers his family using horses to farm their land, and he attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse. He farmed and operated a white-tailed deer hunting camp in Brown County for many years. He remains an avid hunter, joining his children and grandchildren on an annual trip to Canada, where he hunts bear.

George often arrived for treatments with sweet treats for staff – cookies and bars culled from his large collection of cookbooks. He considers himself lucky regarding his cancer diagnosis – the cancer was localized and treatable.

“If he worried, I didn’t know about it,” said Donna. “Cancer didn’t dominate our lives. When it was over, George missed the team and the relationships he had made there.”

“I can’t explain how well they treated me here, and I’m sure they treat all their patients the same way,” said George. “It feels like a family.”