Cleveland Clinic denies father right to donate a kidney to his terminally ill son because he is unvaccinated
By Mary Villareal // Mar 31, 2022

For Dane Donaldson, father of eight-year-old Tanner, saving his son from terminal kidney disease is the least he can do. However, despite being the perfect kidney donor, the Cleveland Clinic turned him down simply because he was not vaccinated, and they mandate that everyone who goes under the knife should be.


In the March 25 episode of "The HighWire," host Del Bigtree discussed Tanner's situation.

Tanner William Donaldson, according to his father, has a tremendous zest for life: outgoing, loves basketball, caring, loves his dog Joe and loves his family. Tanner is an all-around great kid.

When his mother, Jen, was pregnant with him, the family found that Tanner had a birth defect that happens early in fetal development. They wanted to go in and fix it, but it is not something that they could necessarily fix. He was found to have a posterior urethral valve, a condition that usually happens in boys that distorts his entire urinary tract and blocks any urine from coming out. With no urine getting out of his body, Tanner's kidneys started backing up.

This also affects his other organs, including his lungs.

Tanner was born with the PUV diagnosis and stage three chronic kidney disease.

The doctor told the Donaldsons that once the damage is done, it's irreversible. He will have kidney problems that he has to deal with for the rest of his life.

Growing up, Tanner has to live with using a catheter, to the point that he has to do the procedure despite being in school.

Tanner's left kidney has been atrophied, while the right kidney has been functioning at around 18 to 20 percent. However, when the pandemic hit, things changed. (Related: Austria SUSPENDS COVID vaccine mandate for adults because the COERCION wasn't working.)

While Tanner's parents were more worried about his health and if they would be able to do the process of getting his labs, they both contracted the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in August 2020. They survived the virus and went on to live their lives while waiting for the perfect time for Dane to donate a kidney to Tanner.

Vaccine mandate kept father from donating a kidney to his son

Unfortunately, in October 2021, the Cleveland Clinic decided to make vaccines mandatory for anyone who plans to go under surgery, including kidney surgery, effectively disallowing Dane from donating his kidney to Tanner unless he gets his vaccine jabs.

Hospital officials say that for transplant donors and recipients who often have weakened immune systems, the vaccine serves as an extra layer of protection against severe illnesses and reactions that come with the COVID infection.

"Vaccination is particularly important in these patients for their safety. For the living donor, preventing COVID-19 infection around the time of a surgical operation is crucial. For the transplant candidate, in addition to a major operation, medications taken after an organ transplant weaken a person’s immune response," the hospital said in a statement. "Serious complications of COVID-19 are most likely to develop in those individuals who have weakened immune systems, as their body has a reduced ability to fight and recover from infections."

"We are following policies in this area already put into place at several other Ohio and national systems, and recommended by national transplant associations. Vaccination is particularly important in these patients for their safety," hospital officials also said.

Despite this, the Donaldson family believe it wouldn't pertain to them as they had been in the system for Tanner's whole life. The parents' COVID diagnosis also showed that they have natural immunity from the virus.

However, the family received an email notifying them that the Cleveland Clinic is going to start requiring donors and recipients to be fully vaccinated if they want to undergo surgery and transplant. They set up a meeting with the doctors, but it became apparent that they are going to force both the father and son to get the vaccine if they want the procedure to be done.

"You know, there was a lack of humanity there," Dane said. "They've made the decision that the vaccines are more important than saving my son's life," Jen added.

In considering the option for the vaccine, Jen asked the doctors: "If [Dane] takes the vaccine, and his body has a reaction to it, is it a possibility that he cannot donate his kidney, whether it's myocarditis, or his kidney function drops or anything like that? Is that a possibility?" (Related: CDC data shows deaths of millennials SURGED by 84% after COVID-19 vaccine mandate.)

The doctors said that yes, it is a possibility, so now the family sees no upside to getting the vaccine. Even when they suggested signing any type of waiver against COVID, they were refused. And it was news that they had to break to their son.

Follow for more information about pandemic-related updates, including vaccination requirements, health mandates and more.

Watch the video below to know more about the Tanner Donaldson story.

Watch "The Highwire" with Dell Bigtree on its own channel at

More related stories:

Cleveland clinic: Already had COVID? Vaccine provides no added benefit beyond your own innate immunity.

NYC ends vaccine mandate for retail customers – but not for employees.

Federal judge upholds Houston hospital's vaccine mandate.

CDC data reveal 84% increase in death of millennials after vaccine mandate.

Out of the blue, Washington, D.C., suddenly drops covid "vaccine" mandate.

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