The CrossFit SCV community is pulling for one of their own: Miriam Alvarado, a CrossFit athlete and Los Angeles police officer, has been diagnosed with cancer, and her CrossFit family is staging a marathon rowing event to raise funds to support her battle.

A few months ago, Alvarado began experiencing severe back pain that she initially chalked up to soreness from her active workout regimen. However, the pain didn’t go away, so she sought medical help. Doctors found a large mass had formed on top of her liver. A biopsy showed the mass was cancerous, and she is now undergoing chemotherapy in order to reduce the mass to a size where it can be surgically removed.

“Miriam has been dedicated to serving the communities of Los Angeles for more than 10 years, and now Officer Alvarado needs our assistance,” said Curtis Marzinzik, owner of CrossFit SCV. “This marathon rowing event is a way for all of Miriam’s friends to let her know we are here for her, and will support her in her fight against cancer.”

“Pulling for Miriam,” scheduled this Saturday, Sept. 24, at CrossFit SCV, is a rowing competition in which teams of up to 10 people will complete a marathon row of 42,195 meters – equivalent to a marathon distance of 26.2 miles – to raise funds to help the single mother of four and her family deal with the impacts of her daily fight against a rare and aggressive form of cancer, bile duct cancer.

The funds raised at the event will help Alvarado and her children – ages 10, 12, 14 and 18 – as she goes through three months of chemotherapy, to be followed by surgery and recovery. She is expected to exhaust her paid sick leave from the Los Angeles Police Department, and it’s hoped that the Pulling for Miriam event will help ensure that Alvarado has sufficient time to recover from the procedures without worrying about finances.

In the event, teams of up to 10 rowers will donate $500 per team, and will use rowing machines to cover the marathon distance in the shortest time possible. The fastest team will win a new Concept2 rower, and prizes will also be offered to the teams raising the most money. The event will be hosted by CrossFit SCV, 26320 Diamond Place, Unit 150, in Santa Clarita, but athletes can also participate remotely at other gyms. At the event there will be refreshments, sausages from Schreiner’s Fine Sausages, a DJ, massages, games and more. There are currently 16 teams competing and over $25,000 has been raised. CrossFit SCV has established a web page explaining the marathon rowing event and registration procedures: crossfitscv.com/pulling-for-miriam.