NYPD officers running marathon in honor of colleague who passed away from 9/11 related illness

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Detective Luis Fernandez ' s spirit will follow a group of runners this Sunday as they brave the NYC Marathon.

His family, his fellow NYPD officers are running in his honor to keep his memory alive.

Fernandez lost is battle with cancer a few weeks ago. He was diagnosed last year.

Doctors believe he fell sick due to being one of the first responders who spent days, weeks even months at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

PIX11 sat down with NYPD's  Elite ESU Truck 6, where Fernandez worked for years.

His partners spent apart of there day sharing stories with his widow and two daughters.

His colleagues trained hard and raised money to help Fernandez's family.

"These guys are our family, we are so honored. My husband was a great person, a loving husband and father," Maritiza Fernandez said.

He joined the NYPD 23 years ago, dedicating his life to saving others, something his youngest daughter will never forget.

Neither will his extended family, as they lace up, get ready to brace the elements and run for their brother.

To donate to the fund, click here. All the money collected will be going to Fernandez's widow and daughters.

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