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USCancer-stricken NYPD bomb squad detective to testify before Congress for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund renewal

16:30  11 june  2019
16:30  11 june  2019 Source:   nydailynews.com

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD is on a manhunt for one of its own: The search for veteran homicide detective Joe Calabrese, 58, kicked off Thursday He didn't really want to be testifying to Congress Tuesday, a day before his 69th round of chemo for 9 / 11 -linked cancer , but he came

Cancer - stricken NYPD bomb squad detective to testify before Congress for 9 / 11 Victim Compensation Fund renewal . WASHINGTON — The way some people have “love” and “hate” tattooed across their knuckles

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WASHINGTON — The way some people have “love” and “hate” tattooed across their knuckles, Louis Alvarez has the NYPD radio code for a suspicious package — 10-44 — etched on his fists from his days on the bomb squad.

He's not someone who was reluctant to do the jobs most others couldn't or wouldn't.

He didn't really want to be testifying to Congress Tuesday, a day before his 69th round of chemo for 9/11-linked cancer, but he came anyway to tell the representatives to their faces it's their fault that he has to be there.

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Cancer - stricken retired NYPD detective delivers emotional plea to DC to fund 9 / 11 Victim Compensation Fund . Alvarez told the New York Daily News that he felt compelled to travel to DC despite having to rush back for chemotherapy because he wanted his “kids to know that dad did

A retired NYPD bomb squad detective who testified before Congress last week about his 9 / 11 -related medical NYPD detective dies at 53 from cancer linked to 9 / 11 work. What is the Victim Compensation Fund ? The fund was created in the months following the 2001 attacks and

"Tell you the truth, no. But it's something I have to do," Alvarez said Monday night, after going over his prepared testimony for Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing on renewing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

He's testifying with other responders, the comedian and filmmaker Jon Stewart and medical professionals. It's his job to remind Congress that he, and dozens of other responders in Washington with him, are only there because in the more than 17 years since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, lawmakers have not done what it takes to address the tragedy and devastation wrought on by those attack.

In his prepared testimony, Alvarez tells members of the committee, "I am here because of YOU," with all caps on the "you."

This is the third time since 2010 that lawmakers are taking up 9/11 legislation. That first time, some worried about fraud and abuse, and cut proposed funding for health and compensation programs to a level that would only last five years. And it barely passed just before Christmas.

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The 9 / 11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) was created after 9 / 11 to help pay for medical and economic losses as a result of the terrorist attacks — 18 years Stewart, long an advocate for those who responded to the 9 / 11 attacks, slammed Congress for failing to reauthorize the program earlier.

veteran and retired NYPD detective Luis Alvarez urged lawmakers to reauthorize funding for victims of the 9 / 11 In a simple, but passionate testimony, veteran and retired NYPD detective Luis Alvarez urged If the fund is not renewed, it will expire in 2020 and could run out of money before then.

In 2015, Congress made treatment for 9/11 responders essentially permanent, for 75 years, but they again scrimped on the Victim Compensation Fund, passing a bit more than $7 billion meant to last through 2020. It's already running out, as thousands of people like Louis Alvarez have turned up with 9/11-linked cancer.

Alvarez's cancer is tied to the time he spent searching roof tops for victims soon after the towers fell, and on the "bucket brigade" trying to salvage the remains of his NYPD and FDNY brethren.

He said didn’t want to be there, either, but he was and he did what he needed to do. He was a narcotics cop out of Queens at the time, and his hands weren’t adorned with bomb squad codes. “Love” and “hate” would have worked as well then, as now.

Testifying to members of Congress may not be what Alvarez would like, but he hopes confronting them will help other responders and families who face the actuarial certainty of suffering cancer as he has. That matters a great deal to him.

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11 Victim Compensation Fund amid congressional inertia. His face gaunt, his frame frail, Alvarez was a portrait He went into hospice a day after testifying about the cancer tied to his work at Ground Zero. Legislation pending before Congress would ensure the fund can pay benefits for 70 years.

Retired New York Police Department detective and 9 / 11 responder Luis Alvarez testifies during a House Judiciary Luis Alvarez, a retired New York City Police Detective and 9 / 11 first responder who testified before Congress on June 11, died at Jon Stewart Slams 'Disrespect' for 9 / 11 Victims .

"I love to do this. I really do," Alvarez said. "It helps other guys. There are guys out there who, I don't want to say 'clueless,' but really don't know what's going on. They don't get it. They don't get it until they get sick."

He made a similar trip in February, minus the cameras, to talk to lawmakers in person. He and dozens of other responders have made repeated trips to Washington, interrupting their lives and medical treatment, and convincing more than 300 members of the House to support this round of 9/11 legislation.

It left him exhausted and his wife upset. But he said he sees doing it again as both a message to his children and a legacy to fellow responders.

"I want my kids to know that dad did everything he could to help other police officers get though this," Alvarez said.

Tuesday's testimony is meant to spur on a committee vote on Wednesday to advance the bill to the full House, with hopes that it passes there not too long after. With overwhelming support in the House, the focus will shift to the Senate, where progress has been slower.

So he'll tell Congress that it should have acted soon, and that it can at least make amends by acting now. After he's done, he's heading back home to take care of the job of staying alive.

“Then I gotta rush back home to chemo on Wednesday,” he said.

Read More

9/11 First Responder Luis Alvarez Has 69th Round of Chemo After Testimony with Jon Stewart.
9/11 First Responder Luis Alvarez Goes Through 69th Round of Chemo

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