NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Battling terminal cancer, a retired New York City firefighter will drop the first puck at the Islanders game on Saturday.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, Ray Pfeifer has been an Islanders fan since the team’s inception.

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“I cannot believe that I have the honor to do this,” he said.

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Pfeifer has stage four renal cancer and a brain tumor. The puck drop was arranged through the group Breakaway from Cancer.

“You know you need a break, and this is a great opportunity, and I am just so lucky,” he said. “I had 15 more years than my friends that were murdered on 9/11.”

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Twelve members of Pfeifer’s Upper West Side firehouse were killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.