A Callahan man discovered he has cancer only after he agreed to donate his kidney to help a friend in need.
Fortunately, doctors were able to detect the tumor early and his friend ended up receiving a kidney from a good Samaritan hundreds of miles away.
John Rodgers and Jim Mangold are close friends from church. So close that when Rodgers found out his friend Mangold needed a kidney, Rodgers listened to his heart and was the first to step up and help.
"I felt the Lord telling me to help this man,” Rodgers said.
Mangold was overwhelmed by the generous gesture. "It's just hard for me to explain the feelings that you go through when somebody does a big favor for you," Mangold said.
However, that favor would ultimately be put on hold. After three days of testing, doctors found something that prohibited Rodgers from helping out his close friend.
"It was a small tumor and it was cancer," Rodgers said.
The news he received was bittersweet. "Instead of me helping him, he ended up saving my life."
"I felt bad because I couldn't give Jim a kidney but I felt blessed that they found the cancer as early as they did."
The discovery left Mangold without a kidney but thanks to social media, not for long.
After a sign expressing the need for a type-o kidney with Mangold's number was posted on social media, a complete stranger from Virginia called. That stranger is Sarah Gibson. "She said 'I'm an o-type kidney, o-type blood and I'd be more than happy to give it to you,'" Mangold said.
During the phone call, Mangold asked her what she wanted in return, Gibson replied she only wanted one small favor. "She said the only thing I want is a pint of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and I said fine I'll get you a gallon,” Mangold said.
The kind gesture turned out to be a win-win for everyone involved.
“God works in mysterious ways. You just have to trust him and follow what he’s leading you to," Rodgers said.
The Callahan community is now coming together to help both John Rodgers and Jim Mangold with monetary donations for medical expenses.
To donate to John Rodgers for his cancer surgery and lost wages, go to Wells Fargo Bank and ask to donate to the John Rodgers Fund.
To donate to Jim Mangold's medical expenses, go to Wells Fargo Bank and ask to donate to the Jim Mangold Kidney Fund.
For information on how to become an organ donor visit www.donatelifeflorida.org.