Fortunately, the Burlington County doctor recovered in a few weeks, with the help and support of his family and community.
He wondered about others who were diagnosed, but not as fortunate as him.
He wanted to pay it forward — then, he stumbled upon haircut challenges on social media.
“Let's donate the money for the haircuts to the Food Bank of South Jersey, and it really took off from there,” he said.
While barbershops and hair salons remain closed, and in-person school is out of the picture for now, Sanfilippo is encouraging people to give each other haircuts, and donate the money you would have spent at the salon to the food bank.
He said it makes the cause a little more fun, too.
“I really didn't want my kids thinking back to this whole experience and they remember how sick daddy was,” he added.
Sanfilippo cut his 9-year-old son's hair, and his son cut his hair. They shared it on social media.
Since then, Sanfilippo’s GoFundMe page for the effort has raised more than $23,000.
“Helping the community actually feels phenomenal,” he said, “but also providing for people to take a 10 to 15 minute break out of this right now and have a good time and joke around feels equally as good.”