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Hillsdale Officer Who Beat Cancer Joins Pink Heals Bergen's Special Visits

Hillsdale Police Officer Corey Rooney gives youngster a boost. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Music, dance, love, support. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Pink Heals President John LaFalce, at right, with responders. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Hillsdale Sgt. Sean Smith, Officer Corey Rooney Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
NWA Big Apple wrestler Andrew Anderson joined the crew. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Olivia Hutcherson and her dance group. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Hutcherson with her troupe. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (
Group shot. Photo Credit: Zoltan Horvath (

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Two Hillsdale police officers – one of whom beat cancer twice – and a group of Fort Lee firefighters joined Pink Heals Bergen County for a special round of visits.

Capt. Sean Smith and Officer Corey Rooney were along to help the Pink Heals crew “bring the young ones gifts and help them forget they were ill for a day” at the Joseph Sanzari Children’s Center in Hackensack, John LaFalce, the organization’s president, told Daily Voice.

There were also song-and-dance routines from Olivia Summer Hutcherson (who overcame breast cancer) and her dance group, as well as a visit from NWA Big Apple wrestler Andrew Anderson, during a trip to Josephine's Roof Top Garden, in memory of Josephine Rispoli, of Saddle River, who passed away at 7 in 2011.

Pink Heals didn’t stop there, visiting patients at the John Theurer Cancer Center, providing love and support.

The group also attended the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center “Survivor Rock” event and hosted a “Fire Chief for the Day.”




Ridgefield firefighters in 2011 became the first in Bergen County to adopt the "Cares Enough To Wear Pink" movement, which raises funds for residents battling cancer.

The department made history again in 2012 when it added a 2006 pink Ford to its fleet, making the Ridgefield Fire Department the first company in the national Pink Heals organization to own a vehicle.

The firefighters, police officers and EMS workers in Pink Heals “focus on women as a whole in whatever type of cancer they battle but support all types of cancer relief efforts,” raising funds and awareness, LaFalce said.

The pink vehicles, he said, “serve as a memorial for those lost in the battle against the disease, and as an inspiration to those still fighting.

“The vehicles can be signed by a cancer survivor or in memory of someone who has lost their battle with the disease. They enable us to aid a community holding a fundraiser and generate proceeds that will stay in that community to help with bills, co-pays; research and/or general financial help for families that may be struggling.”

Zoltan Horvath took the photographs for this story.

DONATE: All proceeds from the sale of any photos in Horvath’s Pink Heals gallery will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

CLICK HERE for the full gallery: .

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