NJ community donates blood to help 12-year-old boy with cancer

New Jersey

BAYONNE, N.J. — A New Jersey community came together Thursday in honor of a boy fighting cancer.

Leukemia patients often need multiple transfusions and Dante Rodríguez, 12, was no exception. Now he’s turning his cancer battle into a fight to help others. 

Dante was diagnosed with Leukemia back in December of 2019. Prior to that diagnosis, Dante was already managing a number of medical conditions and genetic disorders, including a blood disorder, and in April of 2020 he was also diagnosed with COVID-19.

Dante’s condition has required multiple blood transfusions in the past in order to save his life. Now his goal is to help others like him who rely on blood donations.

With the encouragement of family and community members, Dante and his mom decided to hold blood drives at NJ Blood Services in Bayonne to help others in need. 

It only takes one hour to donate, and 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.

As for Dante, his cancer is now in remission and he is in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy treatment and doing well.

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