Lou Alvarez, retired NYPD detective with 9/11-related cancer who testified before Congress, has died

NEW YORK -- Det. Luis Alvarez, the retired NYPD officer with 9/11-related cancer who testified before Congress regarding funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, has died. He was 53.

Alvarez's death was reported on Twitter by Chief Dermot F. Shea, the New York Police Department's chief of detectives, who said Alvarez's death was due to 9/11-related cancer.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, Alvarez was charged with cleaning the area and picking through waste material. He was later diagnosed with cancer, and in June he underwent his 69th round of chemotherapy.

Alvarez, a former bomb squad detective, joined comedian Jon Stewart and other fire responders in Washington on June 11 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.

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