Luis Alvarez, champion of 9/11 responders, passed away at 53

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Luis Alvarez, former member with the Fire Department of the City of New York, passed away on Saturday. Alvarez is also known because of his presence alongside Jon Stewart this month, to fight for the first responders health benefits.

The brave firefighter passed at the age of 53, in a hospice in Rockville Centre, New York, the New York Times reported. His passing was announced in a Facebook post by his family.

A father of three sons, Alvarez was battling a terrible disease since 2016. He showed up in front of the Congress, earlier this month alongside the former ‘Daily Show’ host, Jon Stewart, pledging for the health refunding bill. And thanks to their tireless efforts, the bill passed unanimously.

“You need to be covered,” Mr. Alvarez told to Fox News a week after his testimony. “I’m lucky to have the health care that I’ve got, but there are guys out there who don’t have it. In terms of going through the stress of fighting…, they’re also fighting the financial stress of the health care.”

“I’m no one special, and I did what all the other guys did. Now we are paying the price for it. I got sick 16 years after the fact. And there’s workers out there who say, ‘This isn’t going to happen to me. I’m O.K. The time has passed.’ The time doesn’t … is not going to pass,” the brave firefighter also said.

Before showing up in front of the court, Alvarez declared: “I will not stand by and watch as my friends with [disease] from 9/11 like me are valued less than anyone else because of when they get sick. You made me come here the day before my 69th round of treatment. I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”

According to the New York Times Luis Gustavo Alvarez was born in October 1965 in Havana, Cuba. After graduating in 1983 from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in the East Elmhurst neighborhood, he served in the Marines and studied at City College of the City University of New York. He joined the New York Police Department in 1990.

“I did not want to be anywhere else but ground zero when I was there,” Mr. Alvarez told Congress.“Now the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, and we are all worried about our children, our spouses and our families and what happens if we are not here.”

Bellow you can watch Alvarez’s emotional speech in front of the Congress!