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Terminally Ill 9/11 First Responder Offers One Final Message

As he lay dying, a 9/11 first responder had one final message for the country he sacrificed everything for: Never Forget.

“I have no regrets. No regrets whatsoever. 9/11 happened. We got called down. It’s my job as an NYPD detective to respond to emergencies,” Luis Alvarez said Thursday during an interview with Fox News’ Shepard Smith.  “I did work with everybody. I’m nobody special. I did what all the other guys did. Now we’re paying the price for it.”

A former NYPD detective, Alvarez has been through 68 rounds of chemotherapy, and he announced on his Facebook page earlier that there was nothing more doctors could do and that he was entering hospice care. Alvarez testified on Capitol Hill last week in support of continuing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for victims like himself. (RELATED: Justice Democrats Spokesman Says New York Post’s 9/11 Cover Is ‘Dangerous’)

Alvarez urged Congress to move fast on the bill.

“We need to go fast. Go quickly, efficiently so we don’t have to go to Washington again and lobby. It’s not — I’ve been blessed. I got sick 16 years after the fact. My son, David, he was 11 years old on 9-11. He’s 29 years old now. I’m leaving him without a father. I have two other sons, Tyler and Ben, who are 19 and 14,” he said.

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Alvarez has dedicated the remaining time he has left to advocating for health care coverage for 9/11 first responders such as himself, and he said he was grateful for all the praise he has received.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted that he spoke to Alvarez Thursday, and urged Senate leadership to pass the bill as soon as possible. The bill is easily expected to pass the House of Representatives.

“Just spoke on the phone with Luis Alvarez—a hero, an NYPD detective, one of the 9/11 first responders,” Schumer said. [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell: Will you commit to a Senate vote as soon as it passes the House?”

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