Congress focuses on firefighter healthcare while 9/11 survivor fights on

Published: May. 17, 2016 at 6:00 PM EDT

Lawmakers, like New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who played a large part in passing the 9/11 health care bill, were back on Capitol Hill Tuesday pushing for the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. A bill that would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep track of firefighters who get cancer and learn more about the disease.

“I did not volunteer to get cancer,” one firefighter said.

It is a tale retired New York City firefighter Ray Pfiffer knows all too well.

This past fall, on any given day you could see Pfiffer whipping around the halls of the U.S. Capitol fighting for the healthcare of his friends. All while he lives with a seven-year battle with stage four cancer.

“I have 15 more years than my friends that were murdered on 9/11 everyone in my firehouse was murdered that day I’m still here I got to see my kids grow up, I am a lucky guy,” Pfiffer said.

The two were at ground zero the moment the Twin Towers came falling down, both working to save the lives of others. Now, they are adding their own personal mementos to the 9/11 museum here in New York City.”

Pfiffer donated his key to city and Feal his signature red jacket.

“I felt that the key wasn’t mine, the key belonged to the 9/11 community, the 80,000 that we got healthcare for,” Pfiffer said.

The two continue to advocate for all firefighters, so they get the care they need.

“To be down in the memorial down here it just lets them know people that go through the museum that we’re still out here, people are sick, people are dying, from the terrorists still, 15 years later,” Pfiffer added.

And they hope Congress continues to take action.

Pfiffer and Feal will be at a special ceremony this weekend in New York as they add new names of fallen firefighters to a memorial. Their own donations will be revealed May 26th.