Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD bomb squad detective who described for Congress his medical issues during his appeal for an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, died Saturday in a hospice in New York. He was 53.

National attention turned to Alvarez when he spoke, alongside Jon Stewart, at the hearing about the compensation fund and touched so many viewers that he gave a final interview last week to Fox News.

His death from complications of cancer linked to the time he spent with other first responders in the rubble at ground zero was announced on Facebook by his family.

He was one of more than 50,000 people whose illness had been linked to their exposure to toxins that were released after the towers collapsed.

“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,” the family said.

“He was at peace with that, surrounded by family. Thank you for giving us this time we have had with him, it was a blessing.”

Alvarez entered end-of-life hospice care last week.