Diane DiGiacomo, 52, died with her sister Donna, brother Paul and son Stephan by her side Friday at her New Jersey home.
The single mother had dedicated the last moments of her life to pushing Congress to renew the Zadroga Act, which compensates families of ailing 9/11 first-responders.
I feel she had a purpose. She had to get the message out before she left her loved ones,” said her brother Paul, vice president of the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association.
Days before her death, a state judge shockingly denied DiGiacomo’s workers compensation claim for the breast cancer she sustained due to fume exposure.
See: "State judge denies workers' compensation claim brought by ASPCA animal rescuer dying from 9/11-related cancer"
In her role with the ASPCA, she worked in all five boroughs for almost two decades, investigating reports of animal abuse and cruelty, arresting suspected abusers and rescuing abused and sick animals.
She also spent weeks in the neighborhoods near Ground Zero after 9/11, rescuing animals trapped in apartments where their owners could not return for weeks.
|Diane, you saved so many animals and inspired so many people. RIP|
Surviving, along with her sister, Donna, and brother, Paul, are her son, Stephan, and her sister, Laura DiGiacomo.
The funeral will be Tuesday from the Hanley Funeral Home, with a Mass at 11:30 a.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, both in New Dorp. Burial will follow in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.