Luis Alvarez, a former New York Police Department detective, has died of cancer caused by exposure to toxic air at Ground Zero. Alvarez campaigned to extend compensation for thousands suffering from 9/11 related health issues.
Alvarez had spoken at a congressional hearing to extend the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) and its funding just weeks before he died. Many paid tribute to the 53-year-old former detective on social media, thanking him for his bravery and work to extend the fund, which covers medical costs of 9/11 first responders and volunteers.
He exemplified the NYPD motto, “Fidelis Ad Mortem” or “Faithful Unto Death.” Detective Lou Alvarez has lost his battle with 9/11-related cancer. An inspiration, a warrior, a friend—we will carry his sword. https://t.co/utRphj7owx
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) June 29, 2019
The progression of Luis Alvarez’s body before and after being a 9/11 First Responder. WHY are humans having to beg for medical care from their own country after a TERRORIST attack? What happened to the 8 BILLION raised via VCF? Gas Masks for ALL ⛑👮🏼https://t.co/6YLWDHkjcNpic.twitter.com/CqBC3IOcC3
— Aware Black Woman ✊🏿🍎 (@1AwareBlkWmn) June 29, 2019
Thousands of first responders and others who rushed to help save people in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks were exposed to a “witches brew” toxic dust of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, and concrete particles released from the falling buildings.
Emergency workers spent weeks sorting through the rubble and were told by New York and federal officials that it was safe. This was not the case and, as of March 2019, there have been 2,335 deaths attributed to 9/11 related illnesses, almost as many as the 2,996 people who died in the attacks.
The World Trade Center Health Program reports over 95,000 people suffering from health problems related to 9/11, with up to 900 new cases being identified each month, 18 years after the attacks took place.
Alverez, a former Marine and bomb-squad detective, received 69 rounds of chemotherapy as well as numerous operations to treat his colorectal cancer which was diagnosed in 2016. He entered a hospice with liver failure under two weeks ago.
In his final interview,