Earlier this month, former New York police detective Luis Alvarez delivered a heartbreaking plea to Congress to extend the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides financial assistance to first responders who had developed illnesses after responding to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

On Saturday, his family confirmed that the veteran of the NYPD had died at age 53, having succumbed to the cancer he developed years after working at ground zero.

Family spokesman Matt McCauley confirmed to The Post that Alvarez had passed in the early hours of Saturday morning due to “9/11-related cancer.” Alvarez developed colorectal and liver cancer in 2016.

“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,” the family said in a statement. “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.”

Alvarez leaves behind his wife Lanie Alvarez and three children David, Tyler and Ben, according to The New York Times. He is also survived by his mother Aida and brothers, Fernando and Phil.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., one of the lead sponsors of the Sept. 11 Victim Fund renewal legislation, tweeted, “Det. Alvarez is by every definition a true American hero. It is one of the honors of my life that I got to work with him & call him a friend. My thoughts are with his family.”


But Alvarez also lives on through his advocacy for his fellow first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and in the legislation he helped push through the House Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate hoped to pass the bill by August after he faced direct criticism from former Daily Show host Jon Stewart over his handling of the renewal.

Sitting beside Stewart at a June 11 hearing on the eve of his 69th round of chemotherapy, Alvarez implored members of Congress to replenish the fund, which is expected to run out in 2020 without intervention with thousands of responders and their families are still waiting for assistance.

“I should not be here with you, but you made me come,” he said. “You made me come because 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.”

“It is my goal and it is my legacy to see that you do the right thing for all 9/11 responders,” he said. The next day, Alvarez felt too disoriented to continue treatment and was placed in hospice care shortly after, The New York Times reported.

“You all said you would never forget,” Alvarez said at the hearing. “Well I’m here to make sure that you don’t.”

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