Maurice McDaniel was diagnosed with liver cancer in May 2012. Then came surgery and chemotherapy. Then came hospice care.
Faced with McDaniel's prognosis, his family and friends wanted to do something - something beyond the usual caretaking and preparation making. So they doubled down on a task they'd been working on, on some level, for decades: reuniting McDaniel with his children.
It's been more than 30 years since McDaniel's family broke up. His wife took three kids with her - one daughter that was McDaniel's by birth and two more he considered to be family. They moved to Los Angeles and McDaniel quickly lost track of the children.
"He has grieved for the loss of the children all these years and hasn't been able to locate them," said Gloria Thompson, McDaniel's sister.
But his family and friends, a tight-knit group that grew up together in the small community of London, took up the search with renewed vigor after his diagnosis this year.
They'd tried to use Facebook before, of course, but their search had never yielded any results. Until last week, when another of McDaniel's sisters, along with a niece, did a search and came up with a crop of what seemed to be strangers - until she took a closer look and saw a familiar name.
"And the grandson was named after his grandfather," Thompson said.
McDaniel and his family didn't know anything about the grandchildren that his daughters had had since they lost track of them, but the name Maurice, attached to a family name, caught their eye.