A retired NYPD detective who joined comedian/activist Jon Stewart last week to plead with Congress to extend the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund is now in a Rockville Centre hospice.
In a Facebook post, Luis Alvarez, 53, who contracted cancer from his work at Ground Zero after the 2001 terrorist attacks, wrote that he entered the hospice shortly after appearing with Stewart June 11 at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing.
“I’m still here and still fighting … I’m now in hospice, because [there] is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer,” wrote Alvarez, who has advanced liver cancer.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) co-sponsored the legislation extending the fund along with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan).
"The end is soon, unfortunately," King (R-Seaford) said Thursday. “Here's a guy that's going to be dying in days or weeks — that is the face of a 9/11 warrior.”
Alvarez said he had been scheduled for chemotherapy the day after his Washington appearance.
“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,” his Facebook post said. “So now I’m resting and I’m at peace. I will continue to fight until the Good Lord decides it’s time.”
Stewart scolded House members as "shameful" for failing to put adequate money into the fund, which covers medical care for those who worked or volunteered at Ground Zero or the Pentagon after the attacks.
Soon after last week's hearing, a House panel voted to extend the fund.
On Thursday morning, U.S. Rep Lee Zeldin gave a speech on the House floor honoring Alvarez.
Tens of thousands of first responders and volunteers have developed illnesses linked to being at the toxic recovery site.
“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,” Alvarez told the lawmakers last week, looking gaunt and speaking slowly and in a slightly raspy voice.