Bayonne to host blood drive in honor of Dantae Rodriguez & in memory of Michael Romano


Bayonne will host a blood drive at the Richard Korpi Ice Rink on March 5th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in honor of Dantae Rodriguez, who battled leukemia for years, and in memory of Michael Romano, who passed away from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.

Dantae Rodriguez and Michael Romano. Photos courtesy of the Rodriguez and Romano families.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Romano was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma on January 19th, 1999. Doctors told his family he had under a year to live and he started intense treatment immediately, according to his mother, Sharon.

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, experimental therapies and many medications all were part of this 4-year-old boy’s daily life. Due to the treatments Michael became dependent on platelet transfusions and also needed many blood transfusions.

“Michael was brave and courageous and fought a very strong battle for 7 years. He was treated at 4 hospitals all in different states. Despite this horrible disease he was dealing with at such a young age, he lived life,” she said.

“He went to school when he could at Midtown Community, he played baseball with the Bayonne Cal Ripken League and enjoyed his favorite teams; NY Yankees, NY Rangers and the Jets. He loved Dave Matthew’s and Green Day. He had so many favorite foods too. Michael loved playing with his 2 brothers. He was a true friend and classmate.”

After a long fight, passed away on October 21st, 2005.

Melissa Godesky-Rodriguez said that her son Dantae was diagnosed with Leukemia on December 16th, 2019 when he was 10 years old.

“After the diagnosis, his care team shared with me that he would need life saving blood and platelet transfusions for some time. I still remember his first one. I was terrified and I had no idea what to expect but I looked at that bag and all I could feel was grateful, hopeful, and beyond thankful to the person who made that donation,” she explained.

“After three years of chemotherapy, Dantae beat cancer on April 16th, 2022. He is now able to get back to the things he loves. Minecraft, Philadelphia Eagles Football, swimming, and just being a kid. One way I learned that we can show how thankful we are is to spread the word on how important donating blood is. It’s our time to give back to the blood bank community and save lives! It’s fast, easy, and painless, but most of all, you might just save a life.”

Anyone interested in donating or spreading the word about the event can click here.

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