A 9/11 first responder has died from cancer days after fighting for compensation for other victims.
Luis “Lou” Alvarez, 53, a former bomb-squad detective for the NYPD, was campaigning for victims right up until his death – despite battling cancer for three years.
The hero cop appeared with former Daily Show host John Stewart before a House committee on June 11 to urge congressional action on renewing the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund.
Alvarez was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and underwent 69 rounds of chemotherapy.
He entered hospice care last week and died surrounded by his family.
His family released a statement, saying: “It is with peace and comfort, that the Alvarez family announce that Luis (Lou) Alvarez, our warrior, has gone home to our Good Lord in heaven today.
“Please remember his words, ‘Please take care of yourselves and each other.’
“We told him at the end that he had won this battle by the many lives he had touched by sharing his three-year battle. He was at peace with that, surrounded by family.”
He appeared before Congress earlier this month to plead for consistent health benefits for 9/11 first responders.
Alvarez along with Jon Stewart testified at the hearing to make sure a fund to compensate victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks doesn’t run out of money.
“You all said you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t,” Alvarez told Congress.
In a speech, which prompted a standing ovation, he said: “I have been to many places in this world and done many things, but I can tell you that I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero when I was there.
“Now the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, and we are all worried about our children, our spouses and our families and what happens if we are not here.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky said a vote would be held on renewing the fund by August.
More than 40,000 people have applied to the compensation fund which covers illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, after the 2001 attacks, Fox News reported.
More than $5 billion in benefits have been awarded out of the $7.4 billion fund, with about 21,000 claims pending.
Alvarez announced he was being treated by hospice nurses on Facebook .
“Hello everyone, ‘I’m still here and still fighting,’’’ he said. “I just wanted to let you know, what is going on with me.
“Since you have been with me on this 3-year ride. I’m now in hospice, because their (sic) is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer.
“It had nothing to do with my trip to DC, that was just a coincidence.”