As a supporter of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, I know that you care about saving the lives of young children, just like I do. I would like to share the story of a brave little girl who is currently fighting for her life. I hope she touches your heart as she did mine. Briana was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic leukemia on February 22nd, 2012, which was two weeks after her 10th birthday. So far her treatment has been going well and she was able to be put into remission 29 days after with the help of all the amazing care she has been provided by her doctors and nurses from Miami Children’s Hospital. Briana was so happy to learn that she would be able to finally go back to school since she had been in remission for over a year and a half and Briana was enrolled into Westminster Christian School to start her journey of going back to normal! But everything changed on October 8th, 2013, We learned that Briana has developed a secondary cancer while still in remission for ALL, and now she has developed Acute Myeloid leukemia, which requires a Bone Marrow Transplant. This time around has been much more difficult for Briana to bounce back and she has been very sick but we are thankful that there is a plan. We have not wanted to ask our friends and family to help due to the burden of getting tested but we are in need of people willing to get tested to become a Bone marrow donor. We have not been able to find a perfect match for her and the donors that have been found have not been responsive. We have always remained positive that everything will be ok, as we know GOD has a plan for Briana as she is such a special child. Anyone that knows her, knows that she is a fighter and tough cookie and has too many pranks up her sleeve to stop now. We are asking people to please get tested. It’s a simple swab of the mouth at the local blood bank and you are added to the national registry, where Briana is looking to find a donor. The actual process is harder on the donor and requires a hospital stay so we understand if not everyone is willing to go through with it, which is more than understandable. We ask that everyone research the procedure and risk as that’s the hard part if you are chosen. All we would like to do is ask if anyone is willing to be a Bone Marrow Donor, please go get tested and maybe we can find a match for Briana or so many others! Please share this!
On Monday January 6, Teatro SEA, New York’s only Latino children’s theater, celebrated Three Kings Day with a special event. Children were invited to the theater on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to meet the three kings and receive a special gift. The three kings were portrayed by Cristian Rivera Foundation founder John “Gungie” Rivera, who played Balthazar; Telemundo 47 journalist Allan Villafana, who played Gaspar; and Teatro SEA founder and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Dr. Manuel A. Moran, who played Melchor. “I was honored to play one of the three kings,” said Rivera. “I was really emotional as we handed out the toys. It was especially moving when I saw sick or handicapped children, because that really hit close to home.” The event was a great success and in the end, approximately 3,000 toys were distributed . Added Rivera, “I want to give special praise to Dr. Manuel A. Moran for this amazing event. The work he does is truly outstanding.”