Luis Alvarez, a retired detective of the New York police department, has entered hospice due to cancer.
What We Know:
- On June 11, Jon Stewart gave an emotional speech to Congress about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. The fund was created nine years ago to provide 9/11 first responders and others in the community with healthcare benefits. Recently, the fund has been running short on money and Stewart stepped in to fight for permanent funding.
- Many first responders went to see Stewart’s speech, Luis Alvarez was one of them. Alvarez gave a testimony to help Congress further understand what was happening. “I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11, like me, are valued less than anyone else,” he said. “ This fund isn’t a ticket to paradise, it’s to provide our families with care. You all said you would never forget. Well I’m here to make sure that you don’t,” Alvarez concluded.
- One of the major reasons this meeting was so emotional was because the majority of Congress wasn’t present. Stewart was in tears as he called the lawmakers “shameful” for ignoring the first responders’ needs. He reminded them how the slogan for the anniversary of 9/11 is “Don’t Forget” and begged them to not let that be an empty phrase.
- Alvarez made a post on Facebook about his current condition. He wrote, “Hello everyone, ‘I’m still here and still fighting. 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 am now in hospice, because there is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer. It had nothing to do with my trip to DC, that was just coincidence. The day after my trip I was scheduled for chemo, but the nurse noticed I was disoriented. A few tests later they realized that my liver had completely shut down because of the tumors and wasn’t cleaning out the toxins in my body and it was filling up with ammonia, hence the disorientation. So now I’m resting and 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.-God bless- Lou. ‘Still here, still breathing, still fighting.’”
After the hearing, the full House Judiciary Committee voted to extend the fund until 2090.