Things got more than a little hairy again for a group of police officers who returned to their usual No Shave November "shave off" with Fort Lee's Bob Ceragno on Tuesday.
Ceragno, who owns the Eye Contact Vision Center on Bergenline Avenue in North Bergen, has raised more than $65,000 to help fund research and raise awareness of colorectal cancer since 2016 -- a year after he was diagnosed with it.
The COVID pandemic forced Ceragno to switch up the finale of last year's campaign. He alone was shaved on the sidewalk outside his shop by Rene Diaz, who co-owns the Jagged Edge Spa & Salon with Ed Barry across the street.
The boys in blue were back in force on Tuesday, as the stylists conducted their version of dueling razors. This year's donation total exceeded $5,000.
It hasn't been easy for Ceragno, who continued running his business while undergoing treatments. His perseverance not only finds him cancer-free. It's also turned into a powerful message.
“I am lucky -- I suspected something was wrong," he said. "I had a colonoscopy done and a polyp was discovered and removed. I was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer.
"My world turned upside down. I had a resection and was prescribed chemotherapy and radiation."
Since then, he's been championing early detection. It's dove-tailed perfectly with "No-Shave November," which aims to grow awareness.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the country this month donated money they ordinarily spend on shaving and grooming to the cause.
Officers don't have to let it grow if they don't want to. They can personally donate.
"Most people who get cancer lose their hair," Ceragno said. "By having a beard during the month, it’s showing people that you are healthy."
He also hopes it lets the community know that "a colonoscopy for a colorectal cancer screening is not a big deal" -- and that people in their 20s and 30s consider it, given the quadruple risk of them getting colon cancer versus people born in the 1950s.
It could save your life.
"I'm a prime example of that,” Ceragno said.
MORE PHOTOS: facebook.com/bob.ceragno
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