Washington: Luis Alvarez, a former New York police (NYPD) detective who used his final days to plead with the US Congress for more benefits for 9/11 first responders, breathed his last at the age of 53 here on Saturday.
Alvarez’s family spokesman Matt McCauley confirmed to The Washington Post that Alvarez had passed in the early hours of Saturday morning due to “9/11-related cancer.” Alvarez had 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,” the statement read.
On June 11, Alvarez testified in a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing for an extension of the fund for police officers, firefighters, other emergency workers and their families who became ill after labouring at the site of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, CNN reported.
“I’m now in hospice, because (there) is nothing else the doctors can do to fight cancer,” Alvarez wrote in a Facebook post the following week.
“Still here, still breathing, Still fighting,” he added.
Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in October 1965. He was married to Alaine Parker Alvarez and has three sons. He graduated in 1983 from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in Queens, New York. He later studied at the City University of New York.
He was appointed to the NYPD in 1990 and retired as a detective in October 2010.
Alvarez is also survived by his parents, Aida and Felipe; his sister, Aida Lugo; and his brothers, Philip and Fernando.