NEW YORK — Det. Luis Alvarez, the retired NYPD officer with 9/11-related cancer who testified before Congress regarding funding for the September 11th Victim's Compensation Fund, has died. He was 53.
"A hero among heros. (sic) Please keep Detective Lou Alvarez, stricken with 9/11-related cancer, in your thoughts and prayers as he enters hospice care. In his words, 'Still here, still breathing, still fighting,'" NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted.
Alvarez, a former bomb squad detective, joined comedian Jon Stewart and other fire responders in Washington earlier this month, asking lawmakers to fund the September 11th Victim's Compensation Fund in an emotional plea.
"I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11 like me are valued less than anyone else because of when they get sick, they die," he told Congress.
Afterward, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bill to extend the program's funding. The measure now heads to the full House, and if it becomes law, funding will be available until 2090.
Alvarez entered hospice care last week, where he continued to publicly advocate for the support of 9/11 first responders.