It is with the HEAVIEST Heart that we acknowledge the Loss of CRF Committee Member and our Founders VERY DEAR Friend Miriam Colon

Left Picture: Miriam Colon Receives the NATIONAL MEDAL OF ARTS from then President Obama.
Right Picture: Miriam Colon with Her Husband and John Gungie Rivera


It is with the HEAVIEST Heart that we acknowledge the Loss of  CRF Committee Member and our Founders VERY DEAR Friend Miriam Colon who passed away March 3, 2017. Miriam was one of our VERY Active Committee Members and had been secretly battling Dementia. We are all SO SAD.

CBTP ‘Summer Sprint’ Adds Another Researcher, Thanks to the 2015 Cristian Rivera Foundation Service and Dedication Award Winner,
Carlos Colon

Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Carlos Colon
Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member
Carlos Colon
Dr. Mark Souweidane reviews MRI scans of DIPG tumors with Fatima Nathalia Morales.
Dr. Mark Souweidane reviews MRI scans of DIPG tumors with Fatima Nathalia Morales.

The Children’s Brain Tumor Project (CBTP) has been given the opportunity to add another researcher to our ambitious “Summer Sprint.” Carlos Colon, a committee member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, has pledged $5,000 to support this additional summer research position to supplement our already ambitious effort.

Thanks to our generous supporters, the CBTP lab had already hired six summer researchers to work on testing new drugs and drug combinations against DIPG, GC, and other rare brain tumors; using PET imaging to evaluate these drugs; studying the transformation of low-grade gliomas into malignancies; and procuring samples of thalamic gliomas from other labs around the country. (See more about these projects.) The seventh researcher, Fatima Nathalia Morales, will be working on the team supporting Dr. Souweidane’s DIPG clinical trial, validating the method for monitoring brain tumor and distribution volumes in patients enrolled in the trial.

Fatima, an undergraduate student at Columbia University majoring in biology with a minor in mathematics, is spending the summer in the CBTP lab as part of the Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program.  The support from Carlos Colon and the Cristian Rivera Foundation makes it possible for us to provide her with the equipment and supplies she needs to do her work.

We are extremely grateful to Carlos Colon for the gift, and to John Rivera and the Cristian Rivera Foundation for the tireless efforts on our behalf.

Clinical Trial Update: Now treating patients at its seventh and final dose level, the trial of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) should conclude this summer. Fatima will be helping to evaluate data from more than four years of that trial.




young-miriamMiriam Colon has many merits, she has a prolific and a very successful career, and she was the founder and director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City.

Her long career began in 1953 in her native Puerto Rico with the film Los Peloteros. Not already spent a year when the Puerto Rican actress was in the United States seeking for her first opportunity.  Her talent was undeniable.

Shortly after arriving in New York, Miriam was accepted by the founder of the “Actors Studio” Elia Kazan, after a single casting

Miriam became the first Puerto Rican in the studio.

After more than 60 years of career, Miriam is 79-year-old, she has a long list of successes movies in the United States, the country that became her new home. More than 30 films and some 59 appearances in television series are part of her work.

Miriam Close UpHer contributions earned her the 2015 National Medal of Arts which was delivered by the President Barack Obama, thanks to her contributions to the field of art.

The event took place at the White House, where Obama delivered in person medals. Besides the talented Miriam Colón,  Stephen King was recognized, and nine other individuals and institutions in the field of the arts, and ten more in the humanities.

The President opened the ceremony with words of honor for the talented honored
“The men and women whom we honor today are not here only because they shared the truths of their own experiences, but also because they told truths about common experiences we have as Americans and as human beings,” he said.

The Puerto Rican was excited and thanked to represent her country and her culture in such a special place.

“I appreciate this great honor. This recognition makes me feel that you cannot lose hope when things are not right or when there are no positive results. Perseverance and not to give up is fundamental”.

The legendary actress who recognized shed some tears, were the result of great emotion and deep gratitude to the United States, the place that catapulted her as an artist.

“I am an example of a poor woman with a wonderful mother, but did not know how to pursue a career freshened, much less drama. But all through my teachers, my counselors, of the wisest men and the wisest women I could make some achievements ”

The National Medal of Arts was also given to the visual artist John Baldessari, the theater director Ping Chong, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the actress Sally Field, the visual artist Ann Hamilton, the composer Meredith Monk, tenor George Shirley, the University Musical Society and the educator Tobias Wolff.

As for the National Humanities Medal historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, author Annie Dillard, the Clemente Course in the Humanities, the novelist Rebecca Goldstein Newberger, and author Alice Waters were recognized.

Likewise, the novelist Larry McMurtry, the architect Everett L. Fly, the author Jhumpa Lahiri, Professor Fedwa Malti-Douglas and historian Vicki Lynn Ruiz were part of the talented group of Americans and immigrants whose work has provided important contributions to culture, education, humanities and entertainment.

As Miriam Colon, anyone with aspirations in the arts and that has a list of awards and successes can opt for an O1 visa for professionals with extraordinary skills in areas such as the arts, medicine, sports and research, so they can develop professionally in the U.S.

In Beltran Brito LLP have extensive experience guiding immigrants to opt for a work visa or Green Card, in addition to helping them understand variants of the immigration law.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation Raises $10,000
with Successful Theater Event


The Cristian Rivera Foundation hosted a successful charity performance of award-winning bilingual musical DC-7, The Roberto Clemente Story on Thursday, March 22. The event, which included a two-hour red carpet event catered by Celebrity Chef and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Alex Garcia, the executive chef at Babalu Restaurant and Lounge in the Bronx, raised $10,000 toward Dr. Mark Souweidane’s pioneering clinical trials aimed at finding a cure for DIPG. Dr. Souweidane attended the performance and as he accepted the check live on stage from Cristian Rivera Foundation founder John “Gungie” Rivera and all of the committee members in attendance, he announced that his team is within weeks of treating the first patient. Among the night’s high-profile attendees were The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Members sportscaster and humanitarian Roberto Clemente Jr., founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Miriam Colon, businessman Elis Pacheco, founder and president of Metropolitan Recording Corporation Jerry Salerno, DJ Tedsmooth, music producer Aldo Marin, Red Entertainment Group founder Carlos Keyes, businessman Jeff Lavino, David Letterman Show staffer Karen Cerna, real estate agent Fulvia Lora, Bronx Base Builders founder William Padilla, information technology manager Steve Cox, X-Interactive Media founder Carlos Colon, philanthropist Dolores Catania.

Miriam Colon and Khaliah Ali Join
the Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee

The Cristian Rivera Foundation welcomed two new members to its high-profile Committee actress Miriam Colon and Khaliah Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali. Colon is a veteran of stage and screen, having appeared in Scarface, All the Pretty Horses, soap opera Guiding Light and HBO’s How to Make it in America. She is also the founder, artistic director and head of the board of directors at Manhattan’s Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Ali is more than just the child of a sports icon. She’s a fashion designer, former Ford model, and Emmy Award-nominated talk show host. Ali wrote Fighting Weight, a book about her quest for the perfect weight through gastric lap band surgery, and helps othe rs going through the same thing as the spokesperson for New Jersey’s Banding Centers of America.