Things That Matter

Three Years After Cancer Diagnoses, Luis Alvarez, A 9/11 First Responder, Dies At 53

On June 11, Jon Stewart testified in front of Congress, and he was pissed. The former “Daily Show” host and fierce advocate of Sept. 11 first responders spoke angrily to the politicians that showed up (not all of them attended). He demanded the government approve funds to pay cancer-stricken first responders and to help families who lost loved ones because of their work in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

“As I sit here today, I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart said. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.” He added, “Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak—to no one. Shameful, it’s an embarrassment to this country, and it is a stain on this institution,” Stewart said. “You should be ashamed of yourselves for those who aren’t here, but you won’t be because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”

One of those sick responders who was there alongside Jon Stewart was Luis Alverez.

Credit: @Bobplaschke / Twitter

The 53-year-old New Yorker and former U.S. Marine and bomb-squad detective for the New York Police Department went to Ground Zero on his own accord to help look for survivors on rooftops of buildings where the towers used to be. His family said that Alverez was working in the area for weeks. According to the New York Daily News, more than 400 first responders worked at Ground Zero, many of them got sick years later. The 9/11 fund was created to help them pay for their medical bills and other needs. Now that fund is running out of money, which is why Stewart went to Congress to plead with them to keep the fund alive because so many are depending on it.

Alverez was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and his disease was linked to the work he did after 9/11.

Facebook/@lou.alvarez.31

“This came about pretty suddenly, without any warning signs,” David Alvarez said in 2017. “My father has always been someone I’ve looked up to (and) been inspired by,” and added, “It hit us hard.”

On May 29, Alvarez said he would stop chemo after 68 rounds.
“I had chemo today, and my blood work was a lot better,” he said on Facebook. “Tumor markers went down a little bit, but I attribute that to the herbal/holistic supplements I started taking. I’ve been doing a lot of research for supplements for liver cancer, just in case, I decided to stop doing chemo. After 68 rounds I’m not getting the results I think I should. Next Wednesday, I have a CT scan, and if it shows no improvement. I’m going to stop chemo and turn to the holistic route. I’m not quitting the battle, just taking a different approach.”

Now, Alvarez, at 53, has died after being in hospice care since he testified in front fo Congress.

Facebook/@lou.alvarez.31

“I just wanted to let you know, what is going on with me,” he said in a Facebook post on June 19th. “Since you have have been with me on this 3-year ride. I’m now in hospice because there 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.”

We have to demand Congress to keep fighting for the first responders who did a job so many people could not. They willingly put their lives on the line following the worst terror attack on U.S. soil and we owe them the dignity and respect heroes deserve. It is shameful that the treatment for the ailments they received that day are in question because of a Congress politicizing heroes who gave their lives to help others.

Rest in peace, Luis.

Your bravery will never be forgotten. You were an exceptional person and we thank you for your sacrifices on 9/11.

Watch his moving testimony below.

Click here for more information on the 9/11 First Responders Fund.

Thank you for all you did for our country, Luis. You’re a true hero.

READ: These 19 Celebrities Have Survived Cancer And Continue To Thrive In Their Lives And Careers

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

Culture

A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

Sen. Ted Cruz has reached peak infamy with a piñata in his honor. People have been turned into piñatas over the years for both good and bad reasons. The Cruz piñata serves as a reminder of the senator’s attempt to flee the brutal Texas winter crisis.

A Texas party store is selling piñatas of Sen. Ted Cruz and people are into it.

Piñatas are always the centerpiece of a fun party and they are even more exciting when they are topical. One party shop in Texas is riding on the wave of local and national news criticizing Sen. Cruz to cash in.

Last week Sen. Cruz was caught boarding a United flight to Cancún, Mexico to escape the winter storm devastating Texas. As millions of Texans survived without water and power, the Cruz family booked a Mexican getaway to warmer weather and reliable electricity.

At first, Sen. Cruz tried to blame his daughters for fleeing Texas as his constituents suffered from the weather. He soon changed his story and claimed that he realized he had made a mistake as soon as he sat down on the plane waiting to depart from Houston.

Finally, after days of speculation, someone came forward and leaked text messages from Sen. Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Turns out, according to the texts, that the Cruz family was actively planning a vacation to avoid the snowstorm. According to the texts, the Cruz family was trying to convince neighbors and friends to join them so they can get out of their freezing house. The criticism amplified when it was reported that the Cruz family left the family dog behind as they fled to Mexico.

People are eager to get their hands on a Sen. Cruz piñata.

Families have been in quarantine for almost a year and they are hitting a wall. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it is no surprise that people would want to have something to do together outdoors. Seems that a lot of people would like a piñata party to celebrate the bad weather slowly moving out.

There are even some people asking for different people made as piñatas.

You never know unless you ask, right? Never hurts to try to make your own request to better your birthday. It seems that the party store is able to make various different piñatas. The party store made a piñata after Sen. Bernie Sanders’ famous mitten moment at President Biden’s inauguration.

READ: Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ from ‘Saved By the Bell’ Dies at 44; Mario Lopez and Former Cast Members Grieve

Entertainment

Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ from ‘Saved By the Bell’ Dies at 44; Mario Lopez and Former Cast Members Grieve

Photo via elizberkley/Instagram

Today, former “Saved By the Bell” cast members are grieving the lost of someone who once was an integral member of their team.

On Monday, Dustin Diamond, well known for playing the loveable, zany character Screech on “Saved by the Bell” passed away from carcinoma at the age of 44.

Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, and Elizabeth Berkley all publicly eulogized Dustin Diamond on social media.

It was just a few weeks ago that Diamond’s diagnosis was revealed to the public. His rep released the following statement:

“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma. He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system;

His rep went on to say that Diamond’s death was quick and that he “did not suffer”.

As soon as the news of his death was announced, Diamond’s former “Saved By the Bell” co-star, Mario Lopez, took to Twitter to pay his condolences to Diamond’s family.

Lopez posted a picture of himself beside Diamond, along with the heartfelt note: “Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…”

Later, Lopez spoke with Variety about how he was still struggling to “process” Diamond’s death.

“I actually just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. He was reluctant to go in [to the hospital] for a while because he didn’t know if anything was going to get out,” Lopez revealed. “And I said, ‘Bro, that’s foolish, you’ve got to get in there and take care of yourself and forget what people are saying.’ Some people thought his illness was a joke, which is awful, but the internet always spills tales.

Lopez also revealed that he himself was sure that Diamond was going to pull through. “When all of this was happening, I was optimistic that he would make a recovery, but it was obviously too late,” he said.

Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez may have had a somewhat complicated relationship, but they remained in touch years after the show ended.

In Mario Lopez’s 2014 book “Just Between Us,” he confirmed the long-standing rumors that Diamond wasn’t exactly beloved by the rest of the cast. “Not everyone got along with Screech AKA Dustin Diamond. I did, but maybe I was the exception,” he wrote.

“From when I found out he was sick to his passing, it’s been incredibly quick. It’s so fresh, it’s incredibly hard to process,” he revealed. “And it’s shocking because he was so young; he was only 44. I honestly thought, ‘There’s no way [he won’t make it]. It sucks, but he’ll bounce back.’”

And indeed, controversy followed Diamond long after he graduated from Bay City High.

Diamond consistently made headlines due to everything from reality show fights, to sex tapes, to bar-room brawls.

In 2016, Diamond sat down for an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra, explaining that he wanted to start a new chapter in his life.

“I want to put the tom foolery and malarkey behind me, you know? It’s time for that clean slate. Time for the change.”

Diamond’s rep is asking that his family is given the time and privacy necessary to grieve their loss.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com