Luis Alvarez was a detective for the NYPD during the time that the tragic terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. Few can forget that day or the horrifying footage that was displayed on televisions around the world for days after. It is believed that 2,977 people died on that terrible day. Even though 18 years have passed since the attacks, many people continue to suffer from the consequences to this day. Families grieve the premature loss of loved ones, and first responders deal with health problems they acquired while saving lives during the aftermath. Now, Alvarez is dying from what he believes to be a 9/11 related cancer, according to Today.
For the three months following the terrorist attacks, Alvarez worked at Ground Zero. Now he is giving what is likely his last ever interview from his death bed. In an emotional plea, the 53-year-old urged Congress to do a better job taking care of 9/11 first responders and ensuring they get the health care and treatment they deserve.
Earlier this month, Alvarez made headlines when he sat alongside comedian Jon Stewart before a House subcommittee and acted as a voice for those who continue to pay the price for their service both during and following the 2001 attacks.
Retired NYPD Det. Luis Alvarez, 53, an American hero suffering from 9/11-related cancer, is now in hospice care. “You all said you would never forget,” he told an MIA Congress last week. “It is my goal & it is my legacy to see that you do the right thing.” https://t.co/B25mtZ8hYL pic.twitter.com/RMPm6uhIHC— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) June 20, 2019
“You made me come here the day before my 69th round of chemo, and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders,” he said.
In an emotional social media post, Alvarez shared a photo of what he looked like before being diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2016 that eventually spread to his liver. In the photo, he appears strong, healthy, and full of life. He is now thin and weak. His eyes are yellowed and he looks far older than his actual age. Nevertheless, he continues to fight and is using what little strength he has left to continue to stand up for those who no longer have the ability.
In a recent Facebook post, he spoke out to the many fans who have offered him messages of support throughout his cancer battle. He assured them that he is at peace with dying.
“So now I’m resting and I’m at peace. I will continue to fight until the Good Lord decides it’s time. I will try to do a few more interviews to keep a light on our fight for the VCF benefits we all justly deserve. Please take care of yourselves and each other.”