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Lou Alvarez, retired NYPD detective and 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund champion, dies

NYPD officers stand in salute. (NYPD/Facebook)

Luis (Lou) Alvarez, a former NYPD detective and 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund crusader who made national headlines this month when he appeared before Congress, has died, his family said in a statement.

Alvarez, who had been fighting a long battle against a 9/11-related cancer, was 53.

“He exemplified the NYPD motto, ‘Fidelis Ad Mortem’ or ‘Faithful Unto Death,’ ” the NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea wrote on Twitter. “An inspiration, a warrior, a friend — we will carry his sword. A hero among heroes.”

Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2016, years after he helped search for victims at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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“Please remember his words, ‘Please take care of yourselves and each other,’” family attorney Matthew McCauley said in a statement shared with CBS News.

Early in June, Alvarez appeared before Congress to fight for the passing of the 9/11 Victims Compensation fund.

Alvarez sat next to comedian Jon Stewart as the former “Daily Show” host passionately berated lawmakers in Washington, D.C., for failing to properly help Sept. 11, 2001, first responders who have suffered in the 18 years since the attacks. Alvarez ditched his 69th round of chemotherapy to instead travel to D.C. to address legislators to fight for funding increases for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

Clips of Stewart’s nine-plus-minute speech to Congress were seen by millions of Americans on television sets and across social media.

“I’m still here and still fighting,” Alvarez recently wrote in a Facebook post announcing there “is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer.”

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© 2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.