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Cecilia DowdSep 11, 2017, 5:37 pmSep 11, 2017, 9:46 pm

Remembering Ray Pfeifer: a 'larger than life' health care advocate

The firefighter made numerous trips to Washington DC to fight for the renewal of the Zadroga Act despite his 9/11-related illness

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This will be the first Sept. 11th without Ray Pfeifer, a first responder who battled 9/11-related cancer for years before dying this past May.

Despite having stage-four cancer, Pfeifer made numerous trips to Washington D.C., fighting for health care for first responders with 9/11-related health illnesses.

In a 2015 interview, Pfeifer says he had a great life.

“I tell my kids every day. I had 14 more years with you,” says Pfeifer. “You know, I'm a lucky guy. You're lucky kids. You know how many kids didn't have their fathers after 9/11?”

Not long after the interview, the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act passed ensuring health care for sick 9/11 responders.

“He was larger than life,” says Ray’s sister Maryellen. “The best advice I ever got from Ray was, act like you belong. Wherever you go in this world, in life, act like you belong, you belong. People gravitate toward that.”

Pfeifer's sister, Maryellen, spoke at the Town of Hempstead's 9/11 ceremony.

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