Essex County News

Nutley Health Department launches 'Operation Anne' Bone Marrow Registry Drive


NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Township Health Department has scheduled a Bone Marrow Registry Drive for Tuesday March 28 at the Department of Public Affairs. The drive, 'Operation Anne.' is named for Nutley resident Anne Rotonda who battling AML – Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers told TAPinto Nutley that "Anne is one of America's greatest heroes. Her dedication and work with special needs citizens has made her a role mode for all to follow."  Anne has been the Director of The Special Young Adults Organization for over 37 years. "I am honored to call her my friend"

The test to join the 'Be the Match Registry' registry is easy. A swab of the potential donors cheek is taken at the registry. Once the tissue type is determined, potential donors become a part of a national registry for all patients needing a donor. Registering is not a commitment to donate. 

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Three years ago, the Nutley Board of Commissioners held a bone marrow drive at the Nutley Health Department when Rotonda was originally diagnosed with this disease. Luckily her body went into remission after weeks of chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant was not necessary. Now with Rotonda experiencing a reoccurrence, the need for a bone marrow match/donation is once again a priority. The Board of Commissioners is working with the national 'Be The Match' donation registry,

The 'Operation Anne' bone marrow drive is being scheduled for Tuesday, March 28 at the Department of Public Affairs, 149 Chestnut Street, Nutley. Appointments will be taken between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Walk ins will not be turned away, but it is highly recommended to call the Nutley Health Department at 973-284-4976 to secure a spot. Residents from Nutley and across the region are invited to join the Be the Match Registry.

To become a member of the registry, potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44, be willing to donate to any patient in need, meet the health guidelines and keep your contact information current.

These conditions prevent individuals from becoming potential donors: HIV or risk of HIV, Hepatitis or risk for hepatitis, most forms of heart disease or cancer, chronic lung, diabetes, blood clotting disorders, recent back surgery, autoimmune/neurological disorders, being an organ or marrow transplant recipient, significant obesity, current sleep apnea.

Interested parties should contact either Meredith Blank at, or Donna Feaster at to register for the drive. Remember to specify the time slot that you are interested in – 2:30-4:30 p.m,. 4:30-6:30 p.m.; or 6:30-8 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

 If you are unable to attend the day of the drive but would still like to participate, there is also the option for an Online Drive. Arrangements can be made for you to swab your cheek cells at home for a fee. Visit to register and request a kit. For additional information go to

The Board of Commissioners is hoping that residents will come out in support of one of our community’s true “Township Treasures.” Rotonda was recently awarded the township's 2017 Women’s Advocacy Award for her years of work with Special Young Adults

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