Alena Hasson, dedicated member of CrossFit Tigard- PAW, was recently informed that she has been battling thyroid papillary carcinoma for over 5 years, without knowing it.  Although it was a complete shock to Alena and her family, she has remained positive and strong. She is not shy to share her story, and has consequently become an inspiration to many. Alena’s dedication and passion for CrossFit- not only for the sport itself, but for the community as well, does not go unnoticed. "Laney", as her mom calls her, is a very sweet, kind, caring, sensitive, loving, dedicated and positive person.  According to her mother, Barb, it only took Alena two weeks to get back to CrossFit after​ her surgery. Her coach, Ben , describes her very similarly, as a “nice, humble, and positive person.” Alena​ doesn’t make excuses, and pushes herself as hard as she can. Receiving the news about her cancer did not affect these attributes. Alena continues to consistently show up at CrossFit Tigard- PAW, even after long days at work. Marcus Bernhard [Alena’s boyfriend] describes her tenacity in life and the gym during difficult days following her diagnosis has been nothing but inspiring stating, “Watching her grow through this just proves that she is a beast and nothing can defeat her.”    

Often being referred to as the light in everyone’s day, this recent trying time has been no exception. It has revealed exactly the type of person she is. The love and support Alena has received from this community, including her boyfriend, whom a friend of theirs refers to as her “CrossFit partner in crime”, has been a true blessing. Joe Gonzalez, a close family friend of 25+ years, calls Alena the definition of a true friend, and tells us that she has “an uncanny way of bouncing back from things life throws her way.” Her true love for life doesn’t let anything bring her down. Alena isn’t cancer-free yet, but she will be once she has clear scans and tests for ten years.

Back in February, CrossFit Tigard-Paw fought shoulder to shoulder with Alena, in the form of a Tribute WOD. A 1986 (the year she was born) meter row was programmed for the evening. This was the last time Alena worked out before her surgery, and this was PAW’s way of sending her off with hope. It worked, and it was even the first (definitely not last) time her twin sister Molly would try CrossFit.  

“Throughout this entire journey, Alena’s positive attitude has remained remarkable”, stated her best friend Anna, “and [through ups and downs], she has always managed to maintain her commitment to CrossFit [and the community].” CrossFit Tigard- PAW believes that “CrossFit and community go hand in hand. We support one another, lift each other up, encourage each other, and inspire one another. We become each other's strength when needed.”