Push for passage of Victim Compensation Fund extension in full press this week

Tomorrow, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will meet with 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who will ask him to pass a new funding bill to care for those sickened by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

After last week’s heartbreaking testimony by retired NYPD Bomb Squad Detective Luis Alvarez, who entered hospice care shortly after testifying and a public argument with comedian Jon Stewart, McConnell will face pressure to pass the bill and finally bring the fight for coverage to an end, report Michael McAuliff, Thomas Tracy and Clayton Guse for the New York Daily News.

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Luis Alvarez, who testified with Jon Stewart, now in hospice: “I’m resting and I’m at peace”

Retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez, 53, who has been fighting in Washington to persuade politicians to fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund despite his cancer, has been admitted to hospice, reports Alexandria Hein of Fox News.

Detective Alvarez told his Facebook followers that the move “had nothing to do with my trip to DC.”

His Facebook post reads in part, “Hello everyone, ‘I’m still here and still fighting.’ I just wanted to let you know, what is going on with me. Since you have been with me on this 3-year ride. I’m now in hospice, because their (sic) is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer. It had nothing to do with my trip to DC, that was just a coincidence.

“The day after my trip I was scheduled for chemo, but the nurse noticed I was disoriented. A few tests later they realized that my liver had completely shut down because of the tumors and wasn’t cleaning out the toxins in my body and it was filling up with ammonia, hence the disorientation. So now I’m resting and I’m at peace. I will continue to fight until the Good Lord decides it’s time. I will try to do a few more interviews to keep a light on our fight for the VCF benefits we all justly deserve. Please take care of yourselves and each other – God Bless – Lou. ‘Still here, still breathing, still fighting.’”

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Prostate cancer, the most common cancer for men, is still a mystery to science — but 9/11 first responders are giving researchers fresh clues

Prostate cancer is very common, but its causes are not well understood by scientists. A new study in Molecular Cancer Research‘s journal of men with World Trade Center-related prostate cancer may change that, reports Hilary Brueck for Business Insider.

It seems that cells of men with prostate cancer who had World Trade Center dust exposure were more sensitive to cholesterol, which is a warning sign for aggressive prostate cancer.

“[The study]… suggests that the (World Trade Center) dust could have somehow changed the person’s immune system,” the leading author of the  study, William Oh of Mount Sinai said.

Men who were exposed to the World Trade Center wreckage have a 65% increased risk of prostate cancer, as compared to the population at large. Many of the recovery workers diagnosed with prostate cancer are much younger than most of those with the cancer in the general population as well.

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