Ray Pfeifer, a retired NYC firefighter and tireless advocate for the Zadroga Act, died Sunday evening of 9/11 kidney cancer at the age of 59. God bless his family, friends and brothers in the FDNY.

Ray was a hero until the very end. I recently saw Ray at a 9/11 fundraiser on April 15, 2017. The place was packed 300 strong with Ray’s supporters and admirers!

It had been Ray’s vision to provide a handicapped accessible van that would benefit other 9/11 victims and families in need of transportation to medical and hospital appointments. The Ray Pfeifer – Full Circle Fundraiser for FDNY Family Transport raised over $50,000.00 and bought a new top notch van to help be used in the future. Ray gave until the very end.

However, the Ray Pfeifer story about much more than a van. After he was diagnosed and in treatment with Stage 4 –  9/11 kidney cancer, he voluntarily chose to make countless visits to the halls of Congress to button hole Washington, DC Representatives and Senators to support the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act.

The Zadroga Act re-opened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and established the World Trade Center Health Program. To say that the Zadroga Act would not have been passed into law without the efforts of Ray Pfeifer would not be an understatement. He was part of the regular team of tireless 9/11 Zadroga Act advocates making numerous trips to knock on doors in Congress. Despite his serious 9/11 cancer diagnosis, Ray was indefatigable. A true American Hero.

As we enter the summer of 2017 and beyond, let us not ever forget Ray Pfeifer and all those who fight like him for 9/11 cancer victims.  It is a sacred cause. Thank you Ray.

The Firefighter’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor,
and protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I must answer death’s call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my family one and all.