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Earlier this month, retired New York police detective Luis Alvarez delivered a heartbreaking plea to Congress to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which provides financial assistance to first responders who had developed illnesses after responding to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

On Saturday, his family confirmed that the New York Police Department veteran had died at 53, having succumbed the cancer he developed years after working at Ground Zero. His legacy is cemented in his advocacy for his fellow first responders. Politicians and activists vowed on Saturday to continue the fight in his name, the Washington Post reports.

Family spokesman Matt McCauley confirmed to The Washington Post that Alvarez died in the early hours of Saturday morning due to “9/11-related cancer.” Alvarez had developed colorectal and liver cancer in 2016.

NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez served on the bomb squad. After the attacks on the World Trade Center towers he responded and continued to work the scene afterward. He died Saturday of 9/11-related cancer. (Photo: NYPD/Facebook)
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NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez served on the bomb squad. After the attacks on the World Trade Center towers he responded and continued to work the scene afterward. He died Saturday of 9/11-related cancer. (Photo: NYPD/Facebook)

According to the New York Times, Alvarez joined the NYPD in 1990 and began his career at a Queens precinct. He rose through the ranks, being transferred to the Narcotics Division before becoming a detective. He ultimately became a bomb squad detective, before retiring in 2010.

After he became ill, Alvarez began working with the FealGood Foundationto advocate for 9/11 victims, according to the group’s founder John Feal.

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