Help for Miriam
Two months ago Miriam was admitted into the hospital. Miriam had been suffering from severe back pain and had difficulty breathing prior to being hospitalized. Miriam is the epitome of a warrior, pushing herself through pain and discomfort she initially contributed as a result of her enthusiasm of physical fitness (Crossfit), her dedication to rigorous police training, and the long stressful days and nights affiliated with police work. Unfortunately, a follow-up hospital visit discovered she had a large mass formed above her liver. The size of this mass was putting pressure on her lower back and lungs. An initial biopsy was inconclusive.
Due to the inconclusiveness of the biopsy Miriam was put on a heavy regimen of antibiotics in the hope the mass was not cancerous. The two weeks of antibiotics left Miriam physically wrecked; another biopsy was conducted. This biopsy discovered and affirmed her and her family’s worse fears that the mass was cancerous and was growing rapidly. Miriam was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer). Bile duct cancer is a very rare but aggressive form of cancer with fewer than 20,000 cases diagnosed a year in the United States.
In addition to being a Los Angeles Police Officer Miriam is more importantly a single mother of (4) children, (2) girls ages 14 and 12, a boy age 10, and an adult son 18-years of age. Her (3) youngest children are actively engaged in sports. Miriam's dedication to her children often times requires her to drive extremely long distances throughout the state. Miriam accomplishes this regardless of the long hours, hours that often times turn into days, she dedicates to the citizens of Los Angeles. Being a single mother of three also comes with a financial burden. This burden has been met by Miriam but now her newly acquired medical expenses has compromised this. Miriam has always been available to ensure her children remain on track, focused, and confident their mother is there for them, this is where we can help.
The funds I am hoping to raise will ensure her children's lives are limitedly impacted as Miriam fights this disease back to health. Miriam started chemotherapy on July 19 and will continue every week for the next (3) months. The hope of this treatment will be that it will shrink the cancer enough that a successful removal of it may be accomplished. As many of you know (Because unfortunately many of you have either personally experienced or experienced the devastation of cancer through a friend, relative, or loved one) chemotherapy is an extremely disabling procedure and will dramatically impact Miriam's ability to care for her children.
Ensuring Miriam's worry will be lessened by not having to dwell on financial matters will aid in her recovery and peace of mind. Fighting cancer is not only a physical ordeal but a psychological and spiritual one as well. Currently Miriam is using her accumulated sick-time to cover expenses while she undergoes chemotherapy. Her sick-time is not infinite and it is possible she might be forced back to work in order to have enough sick-time left over to cover her postoperative expenses. I am hoping that any assistance that may be provided by this will aid in her healing and the quick return of an amazing woman that so many depend on.
On behalf of Miriam and her family, the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department, and the community of Los Angeles....Thank you.
Miriam’s fight is still ongoing and our support is still needed....Thank you.
On May 7, 2016, the day of the grand opening of the new LAPD Metropolitan Division Station, Police Officer-III Miriam Alvarado was admitted into the hospital. Miriam had been suffering from severe back pain as well as difficulty breathing prior to going to the hospital. Miriam is the epitome of a warrior, pushing herself through pain and discomfort she initially contributed as a result of her enthusiasm of physical fitness (Crossfit), her dedication to rigorous police training, and the long stressful days and nights affiliated with police work. Unfortunately, a follow-up hospital visit discovered she had a large mass formed above her liver. The size of this mass was putting pressure on her lower back and lungs. An initial biopsy was inconclusive.
Due to the inconclusiveness of the biopsy Miriam was put on a heavy regimen of antibiotics in the hope the mass was not cancerous. The two weeks of antibiotics left Miriam physically wrecked; another biopsy was conducted. This biopsy discovered and affirmed her and her family’s worse fears that the mass was cancerous and was growing rapidly. Miriam was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer). Cholangiocarcinoma is cancer that forms in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry the digestive fluid bile. Bile ducts connect your liver to your gallbladder and to your small intestine. Cholangiocarcinoma a very rare but an aggressive form of cancer with fewer than 20,000 cases diagnosed in The United States each year.
In addition to being a Los Angeles Police Officer Miriam is more importantly a mother of (4) children; Miguel, Daniela, Amaya, and Max. At the time of Miriam's diagnoses Miguel was 20, Daniela, 14, Amaya, 12, and Max, 10. Her (3) youngest children are actively engaged in sports. Miriam's dedication to her children has never been compromised despite the rigorous operational tempo that comes with being an element member of Metropolitan Division, Miriam's cancer diagnoses did not change this.
Miriam started chemotherapy on July 19, 2016, a regiment that lasted a year. As is common with chemotherapy Miriam suffered the many negative side affects of the treatment. Unfortunately Miriam's cancer did not respond to the chemotherapy. The next measure was the placement of an extremely toxic radioactive substance directly into her liver. This treatment left Miriam sick and weakened. The amount of toxic radiation that emitted from this substance was so strong that her youngest child, Max, was not even allowed to put his head on Miriam's lap due to the amount of radiation that leaked out of her body. This treatment did appear to shrink the tumor somewhat but not enough to allow surgeons to safely remove the tumor from her body.
The next step Miriam would undergo would be a procedure where the tumor that was effecting her liver was burned (This is the best in my layman's way of understanding I can describe it); Miriam was cancer free for 2-months. A routine scan showed that tumor had returned but now in two separate areas just below where the original tumor was discovered.
The burning of the tumor was a 1-time procedure that can not be repeated due to the amount of tremendous stress it puts on the body. With the discovery of the second tumor(s) new measures were employed.
Late in 2017 Miriam was back in the hospital in order to have two more procedures done. First, stents placed into the liver bile ducts; the cancer was now constricting the bile ducts to the point that bile was backing up into her system which brought with it intense pain, nausea, and jaundice; Miriam was no longer able to participate in her love of CrossFit, the one activity that even in her compromised state brought reprieve and a mental release from her struggle. The other procedure was the placement of small fiduciary markers around the perimeter of the new tumor(s). These markers were placed in order to direct maximum radiation treatment into the tumor while protecting the healthy tissue. For (5) days Miriam went to the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Center to receive this treatment, the consequential side effect of this treatment would be that Miriam would suffer extreme and prolong bouts of crippling pain and sickness as a result.
Due to all this necessary and lifesaving treatment Miriam was forced to be readmitted back into the hospital prior to Christmas, through Christmas, and much of the New Year.
The money that has been raised so far, by you, has helped keep her family along a path of relative normality; they, her children, have been able to stay involved in school and sport functions that have been paramount in providing a physical and mental escape from what their mother is experiencing. The money raised has also gone toward necessary but costly home repairs, food, and clothing.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued donations, thoughts, and prayers.
Mike, have either Wellness coordinator, Sgt Perna or Sgt Orpin been made aware of this? If not, please comment here and I will let them know. They, including retired Sgt Kite, have been an amazing guidance through my husbands long road... Our thoughts are with her.
Tomorrow, Saturday October 28, 2016 MBX Athletics will be hosting the following even in honor of Miriam; Superheros Throwdown for Cancer - Lift Up Miriam Where: MBX Athletics 19555 Parthenia Ave, Northridge, California 91324 This is a team competition made up of 2 girls or 2 guys. The comp has sold out every year and we want to make sure everything is organized and run smoothly so please be on time for registration. The purpose of this competition/fundraiser is to raise money for families that were directly effected by cancer. DIVISIONS: Beginner - Intermediate - Advanced - Masters Everyone is welcomed to come see the showdown :) tomorrow @9:00am-12:00 p.m
You can find more information about the Pulling For Miriam! event here: http://crossfitscv.com/pulling-for-miriam
Mike, is there a way we can register for this individually and join a team?
Take care of yourself Miriam! Stay strong. God is with you! Prayers to you and your children. Thank you Mike for starting this for them.