News & Press

Happy Holidays from
the Cristian Rivera Foundation


We at the Cristian Rivera Foundation extend the warmest of holiday greetings to our friends, family and supporters. Thank you for the generosity and care you’ve shown throughout the year, whether it be through making donations, attending our events, or even just wearing our wristband every day and educating your loved ones about our cause. You have made an amazing contribution to the fight against DIPG and we look forward to taking the fight even further in 2012. We would also like to extend a special greeting to all of the brave DIPG families. Whether your child has already earned their wings or your family is still in the midst of this devastating struggle, we want to thank you for inspiring us and showing us all the true meaning of love, bravery and courage. You are all in our thoughts this holiday season.

Foundation Battles To Fight
Brain Tumor In Paintball Tourney


A group of paintballers came together in Queens on Saturday with a mission to remember a little boy who lost his life to a rare illness.

Cristian Rivera died in 2009 from pontine glioma, a brain stem tumor which strikes up to 300 children per year in North America and has no cure.

The foundation named in Rivera’s honor held a paintball tournament to raise money to fight the disease in Long Island City.

“We do six to seven annual events a year and the goal is to try to raise funds for the clinical trials, awareness, and support families who are currently dealing with the disease,” Ridgewood resident Ralph Mercado said.

Eleven teams raised more $4,000.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation Hosts Successful
First Annual Paintball Tournament

The Cristian Rivera Foundation gathered supporters, Committee Members and paintball lovers alike for the foundation’s First Annual Paintball Tournament. Teams competed from 8am to 12 noon at NYC Paintball in Long Island City on Saturday December 3. It was a morning filled with high-energy but good-spirited competition. The main goal was not to win—though victory was certainly sweet for winners Team AVS. The true goal of the day was to raise money toward finding a cure for DIPG, a rare, inoperable brain stem tumor that takes the lives of 200 children in the United States each year. All of the proceeds from the First Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Paintball Tournament went toward that goal. If you missed this amazing event, visit where new events are being announced all the time. You can also use that link to make a donation and help find a cure for DIPG.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation Helps Raise
Over $7500.00 for DIPG Research

Pictured Above From Left to Right:Cristian Rivera Foundation Founder John “Gungie” Rivera, Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Chef Ricardo Cardona, Founder of the Mikey Czech Foundation Steve Czech, and The Winner of The Auction


The Cristian Rivera Foundation and Committee Member and Celebrity Chef Ricardo Cardona helped raise over $7500 at the 4th Annual “Moms for Mikey” event, held at The Woodway Country Club in Darien, CT in memory of DIPG Angel Mikey Czech. The Cristian Rivera Foundation donated an event package with Chef Cardona that was auctioned at the fundraiser gala on Saturday November 19. The lucky winner bid $7500 to have Chef Cardona come to their home and cook for 10 people. One server, food and wine was included in the winning bid. The Cristian Rivera Foundation also donated a baseball autographed by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, which was auctioned off as part of a gift basket. We are proud of the work being done by the Mikey Czech Foundation and are happy to help in whatever way we can, so that together one day we can rid the world of DIPG once and for all.

Happy Thanksgiving from
the Cristian Rivera Foundation


The Cristian Rivera Foundation would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. DIPG has taught us how important it is to appreciate those we love and we give thanks for those who are with us, as well as those who have gone on to Heaven, at this joyous time of year. Together we will work tirelessly so that one day we’ll be able to give thanks for DIPG’s cure as well.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation Remembers
Faith Sonia Griffin on Her 9th Birthday


Today, Tuesday November 22, 2011, marks what would have been Faith Sonia Griffin’s 9th birthday. Sadly, Faith is not here with us to celebrate her big day. After fighting bravely against DIPG for approximately 13 months, Faith earned her wings on November 2, 2008. Faith, her parents Charles and Sonia, and her younger brother Elijah are in our hearts and our thoughts today.