FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- If Fair Lawn police have seemed particularly dedicated to raising money to fight cancer during No-Shave November, it's because the cause hits close to home.
Kerrie Prettitore, a 42-year-old mother of three, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February 2014 and subsequently had successful surgery to remove the tumor.
However, a rare genetic disorder has her fighting for her life after a single chemotherapy treatment.
"Kerrie didn’t know she was born with DPD Deficiency, which dramatically increases risk factors for 5-FU based chemotherapy," Sgt. Brian Metzler said.
Roughly 4-8% of the population has some form of DPD Deficiency, ranging from partial to complete lack of the enzyme in their system, the sergeant said. DPD is needed to break down certain chemotherapy drugs.
"Patients with full or partial DPD Deficiency are at serious risk of brain damage and death," Metzler noted.
Metzler's department -- including members of Fair Lawn PBA Local #67 -- are assisting the Prettitore family through the No-Shave November fundraiser.
Even officers who aren't growing mustaches or beards are participating.
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