Perfect match: How a kidney connects two CAK families

Julya JohnsonCedar Bluff, Our Town Health

“God moves in mysterious ways” is a Christian hymn written in 1773 by William Cowper from England. Those mysterious ways were experienced powerfully in the Christian Academy of Knoxville Campus Center recently.

During the summer of 2019, Monica Rogers, long-time CAK director of special events, chose to leave the job she loved to better take care of the family she loved. Her children were all getting older, and she really wanted to spend quality time with them before they flew the nest.

Her replacement was CAK parent Missy Standifer, who had not yet shared with anyone that she was holding a secret near to her heart. Her husband, English, also known as “E,” was experiencing a genetic condition that would require a kidney transplant sometime in the future. At the time Missy took the job at CAK, the Standifers had no idea how long it would be before E would need a kidney.

Fast forward to early March, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. E’s condition had worsened, and the family agreed to share their story publicly, in hopes of finding a living kidney donor.

Here is the rest of the story in Missy’s own words:

“When I first shared our story on Facebook, Monica told me that she read our story out loud to Tony, her husband. When she shared with him that in order to be tested you had to have ‘O’-type blood, Tony immediately said without hesitation – not even knowing who E was – ‘I’ll do it! I’ll be tested!’

“Then Monica showed him our family picture, and he said upon seeing E’s picture, ‘Hey! I know that guy! He’s one of my customers at work.’

“And so it began.

“A month shy of the day that I shared our post, Tony called us to say that when they ran the cross-matching test, he was a perfect match for E. We were floored!! We knew that he had weeks of testing ahead and that while it was still not a ‘done-deal’ by any means, that being a blood match – especially with E having such a high antibody count—was a true miracle.

“Then COVID happened.

“They slowed down all the testing and abruptly canceled all living donor transplant surgeries. We were devastated. And still, during all of this time, Tony just kept plowing ahead and passed test after test after test and kept reaching out to E and just checking in to see how he was holding up.

“On Monday, we knew that this was the week that we would find out for sure who our donor would be and through a series of events, God gave Tony the ultimate green light, and he and Monica called and shared this with us! E and I have both cried many times between that day and today, just in awe that someone would love us/him/and the Lord so much to do this for our family!”

Monica adds, “I’ve always known we serve an amazing God. Tony and I are completely humbled to be a part of His miraculous plan to give English a healthier and richer life. There is no doubt the Lord hears our prayers and wants the best for each of us. To have witnessed His divine hand in every detail of this story has been truly amazing.”

Please keep these two CAK families in your prayers as they edge toward their surgery date of June 3. Both families want to give God all of the glory!

On a final note, Missy adds: “Please share this amazing story of how God knew, when He called me to CAK a year ago, that He would use my friendship with Monica to birth a desire in Tony to help save English’s life.”

We truly serve an amazing God.

Julya Johnson is director of communications for Christian of Knoxville.

CAK families connected through a kidney donation scheduled for June 3: Missy and English Standifer family (on left) with Tony and Monica Rogers family.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *