News & Press

Cristian Rivera Foundation
March 2020 Newsletter

March 2020 Newsletter

Cristian Rivera Foundation 2020 March Newsletter

March has brought some serious challenges to our society as we navigate our world in the time of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. As events, companies, social gatherings, weddings, funerals and more have been cancelled across the world, we have come to understand that separation means safety and staying apart is the best way for us to come together at this time. Like many of you, our smaller society as a foundation has been learning how to best function at a time like this. The one message that has rung true for us is to continue moving “Full Steam Ahead” as Cristian would, and as he did during his fight against DIPG.

In light of the times, the Cristian Rivera Foundation would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our board members, sponsors, donors and supporters who have generously contributed to our efforts for many years. We understand that many of you may be hurting mentally, emotionally, physically and financially at this time and we’d like to reiterate that our hearts are with you. As a foundation, we are consistently here to support you, as you have done for us several times before. Please contact us at info@cristianriverafoundation.org if there is anything we can do to help you at this time.

Our foundation would also like to thank our brave health care workers, especially our heroes like Dr. Mark Souweidane, Dr. Oren Becher, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, Dr. Kathy Warren and many others who are defending us from the frontlines of this battle. Whether our medical partners are treating COVID-19 patients directly or not, we can understand the enormous complications that may be resulting from this pandemic and how difficult it may be to continue their important work in the hospitals and research labs at this time. More than ever, we thank you for your daily courage and resilience.

With all that may be going on in the world and with a more widespread enemy in town, it’s also a sobering reality to recognize that DIPG still exists and it may be a stronger threat to children and families now more than ever. DIPG patients are severely immunocompromised and therefore are extremely vulnerable to infection simply by being in the hospitals where they may need to receive treatment. If DIPG children do have the ability to stay home, parents and loved ones may have to isolate themselves even further to protect them from infection of the virus. Even at a time like this, DIPG does not stop and it does not wait. Neither will we.

We would like to assure you that the foundation has continued to press forward and make the changes necessary to ensure that we are still giving everything we can to DIPG doctors and families who need support. We are hopeful and optimistic that our world will return to normalcy and look forward to seeing all of our supporters at our upcoming events.

One of our brightest supporters has become a Board Member! Meet new Board Member Dr. Jacquie Smiles. Dr. Smiles was born to be an orthodontist, educator and entrepreneur. She became the first female Director of the Pre-Doctoral Orthodontic Department at her alma mater, Boston University and has given lectures and presentations throughout the world. She was named Invisalign’s National Spokesperson, became the Dental Spokesperson for Invisalign Teen and launched it on the Tyra Bank’s show in 2009. In 2014, Dr. Smiles added a new med spa venture called JustMelt MedSpa, helping everyone in the family look great from head to toe. Personally, Dr. Smiles enjoys skiing on the back bowls of Vail or scuba diving in remote areas around the world.

When asked how she felt about joining the CRF Board, Dr. Smiles said, “All diseases deserve research funding to help find a cure! There is typically less funding available to diseases that affect fewer people. However, these more uncommon diseases hit and devastate families as hard as any other! I joined CRF to help find a cure and develop support for families like the Rivera Family that have dealt with an unbelievable loss from Pontine Glioma, a lesser-known disease. I see the dedication John Rivera has put into this cause and you cannot help but be inspired to fight DIPG with him in the memory of his son, Cristian.”

Dr. Jacquie has shown nothing but determination to fight against DIPG and has shared some wonderful ideas with us. We’re so excited to have her aboard!

We are also excited to announce our Raffle Winners for this year’s raffle project. Wilda Diaz has won 2 Premium Tickets to a Yankee Game, Arleny Rodriguez has won a $200 gift card to Calle Ocho, and Terrence Winston has won a $150 gift card to Thalassa Restaurant. Congratulations again to all of our winners!

Once again, we believe that the current challenges we are facing are temporary and will only give us a stronger resolve to fight DIPG with bigger numbers, larger gatherings, and more motivation than ever before when we finally DO have the ability to be together again. Until then, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. We love you 10! Full steam ahead!

Our Mission

The mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable
and incurable brain stem tumor.

What is DIPG
(Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, is a Rare, Inoperable Brain Stem Tumor that predominantly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10. Only 200-300 cases are discovered in the United States each year and because there is no cure, it’s young victims only have an average of 3-18 months to live, after they’ve been diagnosed. There are NO SURVIVORS.

Who is
The Cristian Rivera Foundation?

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that works tirelessly, in order to raise awareness and funds to one day put a STOP to this disease. The Cristian Rivera Foundation funds the work of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloane (Kettering) Cancer Center and Dr. Oren Becher of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Both Doctors are conducting promising research and trials that have shown promising results. We are CLOSE to a CURE!

How Can You Help:
  • Help us by making a Donation.
  • Every Donation Big or Small, will help us achieve our goal.
  • Help spread the word to your family, friends and Colleagues.
Thank You again and may this be the year we say goodbye to DIPG,
(Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma),
FOREVER!


PLEASE DONATE

Available Now
Cristian´s Journey
A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”

Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera


Available on our website
CristianRiveraFoundation.org

Proceeds from the purchase of “Cristian´s Journey” will be donated to support D.I.P.G. research and trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Thank you for bringing us closer to a cure.

Sincerely
The Cristian Rivera Foundation

John “Gungie” Rivera
Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation
“Forever Cristian’s Daddy”


Chairman of the Board:
Andy Epstein


Board of Directors:
Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members:
Aldo Marin, Alex Arizmendi, Alex Garcia,
Carlos Colon, Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling,
Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer,
Francesco Quattrone, Jarrad Seuferling,
Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega,
Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro,
Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier,
Rena Kliot, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends:
Alberto Torres, Ben Velazquez,
Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Edward Caban,
Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen,
Pablo Diaz, Robert Dominguez, Vanessa Rodriguez
and William Pla.

Honorary Committee Members:
The Late Anthony Mason
and The Late Miriam Colon.

Supporters:
David Rodriguez and Karla De Epstein

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The Cristian Rivera Foundation
February 2020 Newsletter is here!

 
February 2020 Newsletter
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February 2020 Newsletter
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February 2020 Newsletter
Cristian Rivera Foundation 2020 February Newslette

February is a month known for spreading love and appreciation to our family and friends. The Cristian Rivera Foundation wants to remind our board members, friends and supporters that we wholeheartedly appreciate the love and support that each and everyone one of you has given to our foundation. The support and recognition allow the foundation to flourish, resulting in continuous progress in our fight against DIPG.

As the winter begins to unwind, we are eager to kickstart Spring 2020 with the 3rd Annual Cristian Rivera 5K held on Saturday May 2nd at Van Cortlandt Park. We are thrilled to come together to host an amazing event that will support DIPG victims and raise funding for our clinical trials. In addition, we are continuing our Raffle Project with multiple opportunities to win amazing prizes. The 1st place raffle winner will receive 2 Premium Tickets to a NY Yankee Game (Valued at $500), 2nd place winner will get a $200 Dinner Gift Card to Calle Ocho, and the 3rd Place Winner will receive a $150 Dinner Gift Card to Thalassa Restaurant. Don’t miss out! You can purchase raffle tickets at cristianriverafoundation.org/Raffles.html.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation has also been extremely honored and humbled to receive the 2020 Top- Rated Great Nonprofits Award from Great Nonprofits for the 3rd consecutive year. We are extremely grateful to receive recognition for our hard work. It truly serves as a reminder as to why we do what we do. We will continue to spread awareness and fund the clinical trials that will ultimately result in the abolishment of this horrific disease. Thank you for supporting us and being a part of this incredible journey.

Lastly, we would like to introduce our newest board member Rena Kliot. Rena is a marketing expert, successful real estate professional and development consultant. She has won numerous awards in Miami for her outstanding work in her industry including the Floridian Award Best Realtor of Miami and The Beaches. After her many years of success, she opened her own boutique real estate brokerage, Pulse International Realty, over a decade ago. Rena lends her expertise within her field as a regular cast member of the Real Estate show “The American Dream” on CBS and as the co-host of “The Real Estate Forecast” show on The Beach Channel. In addition to her career, Rena is passionate about serving her community as a Mentor for Women of Tomorrow and a Co-Founder of Divas Philanthropic Business Leaders.

In response to her decision to become a CRF Committee Member, Rena said:

“In my quest for making a conscious effort of paying it forward throughout my entire adult life, I always felt it was important to focus on mothers and children. Perhaps being a single mom, I recognized how easily we can be challenged with the necessities we want to provide for our children…I had never heard of DIPG and when I came across Cristian’s story and CRF, I was touched and decided to attend an event and familiarize myself with the people, the focus, and the initiative…Every child is a shining star. A hope for the future, each one has a dream and they should have the chance to live out their dreams. We need to keep our future bright by giving every little star the chance to live and shine for as long as possible. They make our lives brighter. We owe them.”

We are thrilled to welcome Rena and the additional members to our board. We are excited to see the value and enthusiasm they will bring to our foundation.  Stay connected with us. Join us at our events, share our journey with your family and friends, and please make efforts to donate at the following link cristianriverafoundation.org/donation.html.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our MissionThe mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable brain stem tumor.

What is DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, is a Rare, Inoperable Brain Stem Tumor that predominantly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10. Only 200-300 cases are discovered in the United States each year and because there is no cure, it’s young victims only have an average of 3-18 months to live, after they’ve been diagnosed. There are NO SURVIVORS.

Who is The Cristian Rivera Foundation?

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that works tirelessly, in order to raise awareness and funds to one day put a STOP to this disease. The Cristian Rivera Foundation funds the work of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloane (Kettering) Cancer Center and Dr. Oren Becher of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Both Doctors are conducting promising research and trials that have shown promising results. We are CLOSE to a CURE!
How Can You Help:
  • Help us by making a Donation.
  • Every Donation Big or Small, will help us achieve our goal.
  • Help spread the word to your family, friends and Colleagues.
Thank You again and may this be the year we say goodbye to DIPG, (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), FOREVER!
PLEASE DONATE
Available Now Cristian´s Journey A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”
Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera

Available on our website CristianRiveraFoundation.org Proceeds from the purchase of “Cristian´s Journey” will be donated to support D.I.P.G. research and trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Thank you for bringing us closer to a cure.
Sincerely The Cristian Rivera Foundation

John “Gungie” Rivera Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”

Chairman of the Board: Andy Epstein

Board of Directors: Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members: Aldo Marin, Alex Arizmendi, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon, Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Francesco Quattrone, Jarrad Seuferling, Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega,

Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier, Rena Kliot, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends: Alberto Torres, Ben Velazquez, Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Edward Caban, Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen, Pablo Diaz, Robert Dominguez, Vanessa Rodriguez and William Pla.

Honorary Committee Members: The Late Anthony Mason and The Late Miriam Colon.

Supporters: David Rodriguez and Karla De Epstein

 
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Copyright © 2020 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020 cristianriverafoundation.org

Mark Souweidane and Team Discover New Findings from their Pediatric Neuro-oncology Research

Dr Mark Instagram Our medical partner, Dr. Mark Souweidane, and his talented team of researchers have just published three new academic articles on their current findings in pediatric neuro-oncology. Each article reveals progress and cautious optimism towards treating DIPG and other brain tumors. We’re incredibly proud and grateful for their hard work! You can find the articles below neurosurgery.weill.cornell.edu/about-us/news-updates/three-new-papers-souweidane-team-expand-pediatric-brain-tumor-canon?fbclid=IwAR228ChS6E6sr73kFSzrlA1dhmKk3UFEXJf5e-xShQjg0LaWhTt9I6HrSUI

The first CRF Newsletter of the new decade is here!!!
Cristian Rivera Foundation
2020 January Newsletter

 
January 2020 Newsletter

Cristian Rivera Foundation 2020 January Newsletter

Cheers to a new DECADE! Our foundation has been around since 2009 and have been leading the way in supporting DIPG families and finding a cure for this horrific tumor. Every single day for over 11 years, we’ve been creating ripple effects that have revealed more and more about the puzzle that is DIPG. We’re proud of how far we’ve come but hope it won’t take another decade for us to find treatment that would make DIPG curable for children everywhere.  As we look back at our past year, we remember some of the successful events we held to fundraise against DIPG. It all started on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week at a Runway Show by Taiwanese designer Sami Chen where all proceeds for the show went to CRF. Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin walked the runway alongside life-size robots! In June, we held our 2nd Annual CRF Full Steam Ahead 5K Walk/Run with special words from Antoine Mason, the son of our Honorary Committee Member and longtime NBA player, the Late Anthony Mason. A portion of his speech along with other moments from the 5K can be viewed here youtu.be/wQL9ai9HleA . We had our 4th Annual CRF Freestyle Flashback Boat Ride on the Hudson River which was hosted by our very own Carlos Yepez who also became one of our Board of Directors this year! Since Carlos stepped into his new role, he has been doing incredible things for our foundation and we are extremely lucky to have him take on a stronger leadership role on our foundation’s board. You can find video highlights of all the fun at this link youtu.be/dUHorbzVK_E In September, we returned to NYFW with designer Sami Chen for another exciting runway show that benefitted CRF. Our founder’s daughter, Sophia Cristina Rivera, along with Andy Epstein’s (CRF Chairman of the Board) daughter Valentina, rocked some of Sami’s designs on the runway and the crowd absolutely loved it. Finally, we held our 11th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala in November and had an incredible evening underneath the stars remembering our DIPG angels and fundraising for the DIPG children still with us now. The best moments from the 11th annual gala are highlighted in our post gala video youtu.be/N3NoAAyd73w and the story about how we support DIPG families is featured here youtu.be/LqcCwa-ZVxo . As much as we were able to celebrate in 2019, January is always a sad month for the Cristian Rivera Foundation. Cristian was diagnosed with DIPG on January 21st, 2007 and lost his battle to DIPG just two short years later, on January 25th, 2009. Although we approach this month with some sadness, we also take on the new year with courage and determination. In honor of Cristian, we have an exciting year planned with the motivation to grow bigger than ever before and create substantial awareness for DIPG. Our 3rd Annual CRF Full Steam Ahead 5K is coming up in May and it will be our biggest walk yet. We’ll also be continuing our annual Raffle Project which we’ve already started to sell. You can purchase raffle tickets online at the following link cristianriverafoundation.org/Raffles.html. The 1st place raffle winner will receive 2 Premium Tickets to a NY Yankee Game (Valued at $500), 2nd place winner will get a $200 Dinner Gift Card to Calle Ocho, and the 3rd Place Winner will receive a $150 Dinner Gift Card to Thalassa Restaurant. In the Summer we’ll be having our 5th Annual CRF Freestyle Flashback Boat Ride and will also be promoting the sequel to our founder’s children’s book “Cristian’s Journey”. We’re very excited to share it with you. We’ve already booked our date for this year’s 12th Annual CRF Celebrity Gala on November 18th, 2020. Mark your calendars now!!! Most importantly, we are elated to announce that 5 New Members have joined the Cristian Rivera Foundation’s Board. We’re happy to welcome Dr. Jacquie Smiles, Francesco Quattrone, Alberto Torres, Rena Kliot and Alex Arizmendi onto our life-saving team. You can get to know each of our new members by following cristianriverafoundation.org/committee.html and reading their bio by clicking on their headshot. We’d like to personally introduce you to one of our new members, Alex Arizmendi, as the Cristian Rivera Foundation Member of the Month. Alex Arizmendi is a Bronx native, successful entrepreneur, and a Real Estate and Construction professional. He has been managing Real Estate for over 20 years and is well versed in all types of construction. Alex grew up in the Edenwald Projects of the Bronx and has risen to success from his humble roots through many years of hard work. In particular, he was able to start several businesses while maintaining a full-time career. Apart from his career, Alex’s heart and mission is to always help and give back to those in need. He embodies these values as a Master Mason and is also a proud contributor to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Dare2B, and now the Cristian Rivera Foundation. Alex is a business owner, car enthusiast, music lover and loves to travel the world.  In response to his decision to become a CRF Committee Member, Alex said: “It is an extreme honor to be associated with the Cristian Rivera Foundation. I have been a close friend of Cristian’s father John “Gungie” Rivera for many years and was only aware of DIPG for the years that I’ve seen John fighting for a cure.  Not having children, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, so I understand the importance of bringing awareness and finding a cure to this horrible disease. No parent should ever have to bury their child, with that we will continue to fight for a cure.” We are excited to have Alex and our new committee members aboard and cannot wait to see what 2020 has to hold for us. Stay connected with us. Join us at our events, share our journey with your family and friends, and please make efforts to donate at the following link cristianriverafoundation.org/donation.html Happy 2020!

Follow Below to View:

Video Please Support Our Work 2019/20 Video Video Highlights of The 11th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala Video Video Highlights of The 4th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Freestyle Flashback Boatride Video Video Highlights of the 2nd Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Full Steam Ahead 5K Walk/Run
Our MissionThe mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable brain stem tumor.

What is DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, is a Rare, Inoperable Brain Stem Tumor that predominantly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10. Only 200-300 cases are discovered in the United States each year and because there is no cure, it’s young victims only have an average of 3-18 months to live, after they’ve been diagnosed. There are NO SURVIVORS.

Who is The Cristian Rivera Foundation?

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that works tirelessly, in order to raise awareness and funds to one day put a STOP to this disease. The Cristian Rivera Foundation funds the work of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloane (Kettering) Cancer Center and Dr. Oren Becher of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Both Doctors are conducting promising research and trials that have shown promising results. We are CLOSE to a CURE!
How Can You Help:
  • Help us by making a Donation.
  • Every Donation Big or Small, will help us achieve our goal.
  • Help spread the word to your family, friends and Colleagues.
Thank You again and may this be the year we say goodbye to DIPG, (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), FOREVER!
PLEASE DONATE
Available Now Cristian´s Journey A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”
Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera

Available on our website CristianRiveraFoundation.org Proceeds from the purchase of “Cristian´s Journey” will be donated to support D.I.P.G. research and trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Thank you for bringing us closer to a cure.
Sincerely The Cristian Rivera Foundation

John “Gungie” Rivera Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”

Chairman of the Board: Andy Epstein

Board of Directors: Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members: Aldo Marin, Alex Arizmendi, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon,Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Francesco Quattrone, Jarrad Seuferling, Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega, Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier, Rena Kliot, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

 Committee Friends: Alberto Torres, Ben Velazquez, Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Edward Caban, Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen, Pablo Diaz, Robert Dominguez, Vanessa Rodriguez and William Pla.

 Honorary Committee Members: The Late Anthony Mason and The Late Miriam Colon.

Supporters: David Rodriguez and Karla De Epstein

 
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Copyright © 2020 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020 cristianriverafoundation.org

Cristian Rivera Foundation
2019 December Newsletter

Dec 2019 Newsletter
Cristian Rivera Foundation 2019 December NewsletterThe 11th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala was a massive success and our proudest event yet. As our founder John “Gungie” Rivera mentioned during his speech, the darkness of DIPG can only be made bright by people who show up and desire to make a difference. We’re grateful to those who attended, sponsored, or made donations in the hopes of illuminating the suffering caused by DIPG. The kindness and generosity of our sponsors pass a light on to our medical partners, so they have the fuel to find a cure. We’d also like to give a big thank you to our foundation’s Chairman of the Board, Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Committee Friends who work throughout the year to shed light on our cause and bring awareness about DIPG to the world. Lastly, a warm thank you to Dr. Mark Souweidane, Dr. Oren Becher, Dr. Kathy Warren, and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield for being the torchbearers in our fight against DIPG.As the excitement of the holidays quickly approaches, we can’t help but share a deep sadness with DIPG families around the world who may have to celebrate without their child or prepare for what may be their last holiday with them. Our hearts go out to DIPG children especially during this time of year, but we know that there are still ways we can make their holidays bright. When you support the Cristian Rivera Foundation, our funding not only goes towards research, it also goes directly to families affected by DIPG. Giving a donation today could mean helping a DIPG family pay their medical bills or helping them to purchase presents when funds may be tight. It could mean gifting a DIPG family a holiday vacation for what may be their last extended time to spend with their children. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today at the following link cristianriverafoundation.org/donation.html Another way you can make a positive impact is by becoming a Committee Member of our foundation. As 2019 draws to a close, we are on the look-out for people who are just as inspired to make a difference. Please go on our website and visit our Board Members page cristianriverafoundation.org/committee.html to get to know the heroes who are supporting our mission. Get in touch with us at the following link cristianriverafoundation.org/contact.html to learn more about what it takes to become a Committee Member and send us an email at info@cristianriverafoundation.org to express your interest in joining our mission. Until then, we are incredibly proud of the year that we’ve had and all the progress we’ve made towards fighting DIPG. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish everyone a joyful holiday and a happy new year!
Our MissionThe mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable brain stem tumor.

What is DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, is a Rare, Inoperable Brain Stem Tumor that predominantly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10. Only 200-300 cases are discovered in the United States each year and because there is no cure, it’s young victims only have an average of 3-18 months to live, after they’ve been diagnosed. There are NO SURVIVORS.

Who is The Cristian Rivera Foundation?

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that works tirelessly, in order to raise awareness and funds to one day put a STOP to this disease. The Cristian Rivera Foundation funds the work of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloane (Kettering) Cancer Center and Dr. Oren Becher of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Both Doctors are conducting promising research and trials that have shown promising results. We are CLOSE to a CURE!
How Can You Help:
  • Help us by making a Donation.
  • Every Donation Big or Small, will help us achieve our goal.
  • Help spread the word to your family, friends and Colleagues.
Thank You again and may this be the year we say goodbye to DIPG, (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), FOREVER!
PLEASE DONATE
Available Now Cristian´s Journey A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”
Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera

Available on our website CristianRiveraFoundation.org Proceeds from the purchase of “Cristian´s Journey” will be donated to support D.I.P.G. research and trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Thank you for bringing us closer to a cure.
Sincerely The Cristian Rivera Foundation

John “Gungie” Rivera Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”

Chairman of the Board: Andy Epstein

Board of Directors: Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members: Aldo Marin, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon, Ed Martin,Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Jarrad Seuferling, Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega, Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends: Ben Velazquez, Dr. Manuel A. Moran,

Edward Caban, Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen, Pablo Diaz, Robert Dominguez, Vanessa Rodriguez and William Pla.

Honorary Committee Members: The Late Anthony Mason and The Late Miriam Colon.

Supporters: David Rodriguez and Karla De Epstein

 
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Copyright © 2019 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020 cristianriverafoundation.org

Kenan Thompson, Rosie Perez step out for Cristian Rivera Foundation gala

Featured on

Kenan Thompson and daughter Georgia
Kenan Thompson and daughter Georgia
Celebrities and Hollywood powerhouses helped raise money for a good cause this week at a swanky soiree in New York City. Kenan Thompson, Darlene Rodriguez, Rosie Perez, baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden, actor Luis Guzmán, Combs Entertainment exec James Cruz and more attended the 11th annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala at Capitale on Wednesday evening to raise funds for the treatment of rare pediatric brain cancers. The event is in honor of John “Gungie” Rivera’s son, Cristian, whom he lost to cancer at age 6. The black-tie event had 500 attendees, who participated in a celebrity auction, which included various autographed pieces of memorabilia like baseball helmets. The proceeds supported Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical College. So far, the gala has raised $500,000. REad more at: https://pagesix.com/2019/11/15/kenan-thompson-rosie-perez-step-out-for-cristian-rivera-foundation-gala/

Cristian Rivera Foundation
2019 November Newsletter

Nov 2019 Newsletter

Cristian Rivera Foundation 2019 November Newsletter

On November 13th, 2019 we hosted the 11th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala at Capitale in New York City. Every year, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to host this magical evening and to remember and share Cristian’s journey with all of you. The Cristian Rivera Foundation has proudly been able to change the fate of victims who suffer from DIPG and make the dream of a cure, achievable. This year’s Gala was hosted by one of our Board of Directors and Anchor of NBC’s “Today in New York”, Darlene Rodriguez, and Cristian Rivera Foundation Chairman of the Board, Andy Epstein. This year’s Gala theme was Stars. Looking to the stars served as a reminder that if we continue to fight DIPG and relentlessly pursue a cure, we can give children the opportunity to become the stars they were meant to be. Through CRF’s efforts of raising awareness and financial support for DIPG research, we come closer every year. We are delighted to highlight some of our favorite moments throughout the evening:
  • We were honored to have several celebrities in attendance who support CRF and our mission, including Committee Members actor-comedian Kenan Thompson and actor Luis Guzman, NBC Anchor and CRF Board of Director Darlene Rodriguez, TV personality AJ Calloway, actor Ramon Rodriguez, actor Vincent Young, founder of the Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa, NY Yankees and Mets baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden, actress Annabella Sciorra, actor Bo Dietl, Randy Jones of The Village People, actor Joe Donofrio, Hip-Hop Legend Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon, famed journalist Michael Musto, and Associate Editor of Vanity Fair George Wayne.
  • We celebrated and honored DIPG survivor Lisha Ayala, the first patient to show promising results of Dr. Souweidane’s clinical trial. Lisha is now living with DIPG for 7 years with no tumor growth. There are now 2 other survivors showing results similar to Lisha’s.
  • We remembered DIPG Angel Lucas Harashima with the 2019 CRF Golden Wings Honor, which was accepted with moving words from his loving parents Hide and Sansan.
  • Our partner and hero, Dr. Mark Souweidane, presented Dr. Kathy Warren, a respected pediatric neuro-oncologist and DIPG researcher from the Dana Farber Institute, with the 2019 CRF Vision of Hope Award for her audacity and perseverance in the treacherous territory of finding the best ways to treat DIPG patients.
  • Actor and CRF Committee Member Luis Guzman along with actor Ramon Rodriguez presented the 2019 CRF Humanitarian Award to Breakdancing Legend Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon, for assisting victims of Hurricane Maria.
  • Committee Members Jesse Allison and Jarrad Seuferling presented the 2019 CRF Outstanding Service and Dedication Award to our loyal Committee Member Aldo Marin.
  • Dinner was filled with star-studded performances beginning with young Opera Singer Belangel who was introduced by the two “Docs”. One was Dr. Oren Becher, one of our medical partners, and the other was baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden. Next, Grammy Award winning audio engineer and manager James Cruz along with CRF’s proud publicist Lizzie Grubman introduced the talented children of Ballet Hispanico. Finally, an electrifying performance was given by Hip-Hop violinists Svet and Tanya Tingarova who were introduced by Curtis Sliwa and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, Dr. Souweidane’s partner and another one of our heroes working to terminate DIPG.
  • An impromptu performance on the dance floor was given by Mad Stuntman of his hit song from Madagascar, “I Like to Move It, Move It”. He was able to get the whole room moving and took the party to another level!
  • The talented Christina Evangeline made our starry night vision come true with elegance and stunning décor. We had our most beautiful centerpieces and floral arrangements yet!
  • Kenan Thompson and John LaBarbera were our two biggest donors. This marks a few consecutive years where Kenan has been one of our biggest contributors. Thanks to their outstanding generosity, we can continue to provide important support to DIPG families.
The bulk of our funding from that evening came from generous donations, silent auction bids, and our thrilling live auction. During the live auction, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities were auctioned off such as dinner with Luis Guzman, SNL tickets, a Yankees on Field Experience, and Dinner Parties with renowned chefs Nick Lucci, Goya’s own Chef Fernando Desa, and Celebrity Chef Alex Garcia. In addition, we auctioned off the ability to sponsor a summer fellow at Weill Cornell Medical Center, the chance to give a DIPG family the trip of their dreams through our Wishes Come True program, and the opportunity for a student to shadow the brilliant Dr. Mark Souweidane for one week. As remarkable and successful as 2019 has been, the year is almost over! Every year we inch closer towards a cure. Perseverance is up to us in sustaining hope for DIPG children. It’s not too late to make a charitable contribution to the Cristian Rivera Foundation before the New Year. Your contribution is tax deductible and will help fund DIPG clinical research and innovative clinical trials conducted by Dr. Mark Souweidane of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Weill Cornell Medical Center and Dr. Oren Becher at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Please consider making a donation at the following link: cristianriverafoundation.org/donation.html We would like to thank each and every one of you for the support you have offered to the Cristian Rivera Foundation. With all of you behind us, we’ve been able to make a profound difference in the lives of DIPG families and spread necessary awareness for DIPG – all in the hopes of giving children another chance at life. You can relive the 11th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala by checking out our pictures at: cristianriverafoundation.org/gala11/index.html
Our MissionThe mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable brain stem tumor.

What is DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, is a Rare, Inoperable Brain Stem Tumor that predominantly affects children between the ages of 2 and 10. Only 200-300 cases are discovered in the United States each year and because there is no cure, it’s young victims only have an average of 3-18 months to live, after they’ve been diagnosed. There are NO SURVIVORS.

Who is The Cristian Rivera Foundation?

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that works tirelessly, in order to raise awareness and funds to one day put a STOP to this disease. The Cristian Rivera Foundation funds the work of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloane (Kettering) Cancer Center and Dr. Oren Becher of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Lurie Cancer center at Northwestern University. Both Doctors are conducting promising research and trials that have shown promising results. We are CLOSE to a CURE!
How Can You Help:
  • Help us by making a Donation.
  • Every Donation Big or Small, will help us achieve our goal.
  • Help spread the word to your family, friends and Colleagues.
Thank You again and may this be the year we say goodbye to DIPG, (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), FOREVER!
PLEASE DONATE
Available Now Cristian´s Journey A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”
Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera

Available on our website CristianRiveraFoundation.org Proceeds from the purchase of “Cristian´s Journey” will be donated to support D.I.P.G. research and trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Thank you for bringing us closer to a cure.
Sincerely The Cristian Rivera Foundation

John “Gungie” Rivera Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”

Chairman of the Board: Andy Epstein

Board of Directors: Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members: Aldo Marin, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon, Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Jarrad Seuferling, Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega, Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends: Ben Velazquez, Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Edward Caban, Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen, Pablo Diaz, Robert Dominguez, Vanessa Rodriguez and William Pla.

 Honorary Committee Members: The Late Anthony Mason and The Late Miriam Colon.

Supporters: David Rodriguez and Karla De Epstein

 

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Copyright © 2019 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020 cristianriverafoundation.org

SNL Star and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Kenan Thompson honored Vanessa Bayer at Gilda’s Club NYC 24th Annual Gala and attended this year’s
11th Annual CRF Celebrity Gala

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Former “SNL” comic Vanessa Bayer says you’ve got to laugh off cancer . . . and use it as an excuse to get out of things you hate. Bayer, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 15, gave advice on how to handle a diagnosis while being honored at the Gilda’s Club gala Thursday, saying “This is just a chapter, this is just one piece of your life,” and that “you should use cancer to get out of anything you don’t want to do. I mean, thank you, gym class, phone calls, I used to go to school late.” She said a young man she met with cancer “whispered in my ear, ‘I used it to get out of French class.’ And I had never been prouder.” Bayer’s “SNL” pal Kenan Thompson presented her with the award. We hear he will also help raise money for pediatric brain cancer research at the Cristian Rivera Foundation fund-raiser Wednesday.