NEW YORK -- Two weeks ago Monday marked 22 years since the FDNY., and with it comes another grim milestone announced by the
The number of FDNY members who have died from illnesses related to that day.
CBS New York sat down with the family of a retired firefighter who passed away over the weekend.
"I would marry him ten times and a thousand times over. I would never let him go," Linda Fulco said.
Fulco and her husband, Robert, were just two weeks shy of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
"That was my last dream for him and ," Linda Fulco said.
A father of two and a grandfather, Robert Fulco was also a huge Rangers fan and an excellent cook.
"He was always quick with a joke -- witty humor," daughter Kristine Fulco said.
He was born and raised in Brooklyn and took his last breath there.
"You could offer him a million dollars, he wasn't getting out," Linda Fulco said.
On Saturday, 73-year-old Robert Fulco, an FDNY firefighter for 25 years, died after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He worked at the recovery site at ground zero and reluctantly retired the following year after Linda gave him an ultimatum.
"I sat down with him and I said, listen. I says nobody knew that this was going to happen, but it did. I says and now that it did, I says I'm finished," Linda Fulco said.
Robert Fulco was quoted in a New York Times article following the final funeral for an FDNY member killed on 9/11 -- the 343rd.
His death now marks the 343rd FDNY member to die from a 9/11-related illness.
FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said, on average, three to four members a month pass away due to a 9/11-related illness.
"The number will continue to climb for us without an end in sight. An Sept. 11, for most people, it's a part of history for New York City firefighters. It continues to be an ongoing tragedy as we care for our sick and continue to bury our dead," Ansbro said.
Robert Fulco's family said if given the chance, he wouldn't have changed a thing.
"He was always gonna be there for you. He was always there for the community, for the job, for the FDNY, and that's why he would never have any regrets for what he did on 9/11 or after," Kristine Fulco said.
Just last week,.
for more features.