Alexander Jonathan Montes – Cristian Rivera Foundation
Alexander Jonathan Montes
Date of Birth: February 15, 1994
Date of Diagnosis: December 12, 1997
Earned His Wings: July 27, 1998

Alexander Jonathan Montes was one of DIPG’s youngest victims. Born February 15, 1994, he received his diagnosis on December 12, 1997 at the age of three and a half years old. “It all happened so fast,” said his mother, Nereida Perez, who remembers her son as a very smart boy who talked early and picked up on things quickly. “I remember the night he was sick. He had flu like symptoms. In my mind I thought, ‘ok…he gets medicine and I take him home.’ Never did it cross my mind that I was going to lose my son to this deadly cancer.” Jonathan had wanted a bicycle for Christmas that year and though his parents bought him one, he was never able to ride it because of a weakness on his left side. He suffered the effects of DIPG for just over seven months, during which time Perez and Jonathan’s father, Robin Alexander Montes, threw him a memorable Power Ranger-themed fourth birthday party where Jonathan dressed as his favorite character, the Red Ranger. Jonathan also received a package of Mickey Mouse books from Disney when it became clear he was never going to make it to their theme park like he had wanted. “For a little boy, he was so strong and optimistic that he would be ok,” said Perez. “He always told me I shouldn’t worry.” Jonathan died on July 27, 1998, before his sister and brother were born. His parents make sure that Jonathan’s legacy is felt in the family. “We used to blow bubbles and he used to say that bubbles and balloons were angels,” said Perez, who released white balloons at Jonathan’s funeral. “So whenever we have an occasion, we always have ‘balloons for Jonathan.'”