Bayonne boy who beat cancer seeks to help others

Dantae Rodriguez encourages blood donations

New Jersey Blood Services will host a blood drive in honor of a local youth who beat cancer. The drive will take place on May 20 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Community Center at 16 W. 4th Street, held in conjunction with the New York Blood Center and the child’s family.

For Dantae’s Rodriguez’s 12th birthday, he wanted to host a blood drive to celebrate his remission and to help others in need. Rodriguez has overcome significant medical challenges.

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He was diagnosed with leukemia in December of 2019. Prior to that diagnosis, Rodriguez was already managing a number of medical conditions and genetic disorders, including a blood disorder. In April of 2020 he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Rodriguez’s cancer is now in remission, and he is in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy treatment and doing well. His condition has required multiple blood transfusions.

According to NJBS, it takes only one hour to donate. A single donation can save multiple lives: roughly one in seven hospital admissions require a blood transfusion. Those in need include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.

NJBS is taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. People are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available at

Appointments are encouraged. Sign up by texting (917) 699-9073 or visiting

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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