(CNN)NYPD officer Michael Hance, who went viral in 2015 when he twerked at the New York City Pride parade, has died. What makes his passing even more tragic is that the 9/11 first responder died of cancer at age 44.
Officer who shot to viral fame with Pride march twerk dies of cancer
Hance shook up the nation two years ago when he was on duty at the Pride Parade in New York City. Aaron Santis, a man marching in the parade, was dancing down the street with the LGBT Big Apple Softball League. Officer Hance joined in. The two danced together.
Hance was heterosexual, so the video of him dancing and having fun during the pride parade was seen as a symbol of connection between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community.
"Although not a member of GOAL NY, he certainly brought a smile to all of our faces when he danced," the Gay Officer Action League of New York wrote on their page to raise funds for the two daughter Hance leaves behind.
"You will truly be a missed ally," GOAL NY wrote on the news of Hance's passing.
But Hance was more than a dancing cop -- he was a hero.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Hance was among the first responders. He worked in a bucket brigade, a line of people passing 5 gallon buckets of debris to investigators for evidence and remains.
Then, last November, Hance was diagnosed with brain cancer. The cancer spread to his lungs, liver, and chest.
Over 4,000 first responders, recovery and cleanup workers, and volunteers at the site of the attacks that have been identified by the Center for Disease Control as having been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attacks.