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Family of man whose kidney transplant was canceled over vaccine mandate turns to social media

Mike Ganim and
Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 21:38:57-04

EASTLAKE, Ohio — The family of a man whose kidney transplant was canceled over Cleveland Clinic's vaccine mandate is turning to social media to find a new donor.

Mike Ganim, 52, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when he was 27. He’s had ups and downs with his health over the years, but in March 2020 it took a turn for the worse. He developed a large blood clot that sent him to the hospital. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic told the Ganims there was no time to waste–Ganim needed a kidney transplant.

A family friend matched and was ready to donate her kidney to Ganim, but five days before the operation Cleveland Clinic called the Ganims to tell them that it was being put on hold because the donor isn’t vaccinated for COVID-19, even though Ganim is.

On Tuesday, the surgery was canceled all together.

The Ganims and the donor were under the impression that the vaccine mandate wasn’t supposed to go into effect until Nov. 1, so they questioned why is the surgery was canceled.

Cleveland Clinic said it’s striving “to minimize risk, and vaccination is an important component to ensure” safety. If transplants are using living donors, the clinic said the mandate is active now. The Nov. 1 deadline is for deceased donors.

With the surgery canceled, Ganim is searching for a new donor and his daughter his turning to social media to tell his story. They even created a TikTok video to reach potential donors.

"I'm just trying to reach whoever I can possibly, my top priority is that anything we're doing reaches the right person," said Ganim's daughter Helaina. "My main goal is just finding my dad a kidney."

If you are interested in learning more about organ donation, CLICK HERE.

RELATED: Cleveland Clinic cancels Eastlake man’s kidney transplant surgery because donor not vaccinated

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