Cristian Rivera Foundation
2018 November Newsletter


Nov 2018 Newsletter

Cristian Rivera Foundation 2018
November Newsletter
The 10th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala was held on November 14th, 2018, at Capitale in New York City. 

The event was hosted by Cristian Rivera Foundation board members, Andy Epstein and NBC Anchor, Darlene Rodriguez. The gala was special for The Cristian Rivera Foundation, as we celebrated a decade of raising awareness and support for DIPG research. We also highlighted and honored the following on that special evening:

  • The Cristian Rivera Foundation has donated well over $1,000,000 to DIPG research, clinical trials and to support families.
  • We celebrated a 6th year of life with Lisha Ayala, her tumor has shown no growth and she is responding extremely well to the clinical trials.
  • Actress Rosie Perez presented Actor Ramon Rodriguez with the 2018 Cristian Rivera Foundation Humanitarian Award for his efforts to help rebuild Puerto Rico.
  • Guardian Angels Founder, Curtis Sliwa introduced a new award to the Cristian Rivera Foundation, The Guardian Angel Award.  The Award was presented to Sarah Langbert, Keith Lustman and Ginalisa Monterroso for their dedication in protecting children with DIPG.
  • “Cristian’s Journey”, a children’s book about a young boys passion to spread love and happiness in the Big City, despite being told he was sick, was released on the night of the gala.  The book can be purchased on, and on Amazon and Barnes and Noble respective websites.  Any book purchased through The Cristian Rivera Foundation Website will be autographed by the Authors, Robert Vazquez & John Rivera. 
  • CRF Committee Member & Emmy Award Winning
    Kenan Thompson, of Saturday Night Live, introduced our DIPG survivor Lisha Ayala to the audience. 
  • CRF Committee Member and Editor at the New York Daily News, Robert Dominguez presented Dr Mark Souweidane with the CRF 2018 Vision of Hope Award.


The last month of the year is here!  Consider making 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 the innovative clinical trials being conducted by Dr. Mark Souweidane. 

We would like to close out 2018 by thanking each and every one of you for supporting The Cristian Rivera Foundation.  It is through your support that we are making monumental strides in DIPG research and giving children, like Lisha Ayala, a chance to fulfill their dreams. 

Help us start 2019 STRONG!  How You Ask?  It’s Simple, take a few moments to do one (or all of the following)

  • Raise Awareness by sending this newsletter to your family, friends and coworkers.
  • Visit our Website and take a look at all the amazing events that we host throughout the year.
  • While you are on our website, take a moment and make a small donation, purchase a wristband or a copy of “Cristian’s Journey”.  100% of the net proceeds are steered to DIPG research and clinical trial.
  • Contact us at if you would like to take part in our events, want to Volunteer or become a member of the CRF committee. We host an annual Walk, Boat Ride, Celebrity Gala, Dinners, and plenty of other fun events.  Reserve your space early!
  • Tag us On Social Media with #LoveYou10 or #CristianRiveraFoundation, we will follow you when you do!
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),
Available Now
Cristian´s Journey
A Story Inspired by John “Gungie” Rivera, “Forever Cristian´s Daddy”
Cristian's Journey

Written by John “Gungie” Rivera
and Robert Vazquez

Available at, Barnes and Nobile and on our website

Amazon Smile
Barnes & Noble
Cristian Rivera Foundation

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.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation

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

Board of Directors:
Andy Epstein and Darlene Rodriguez.
Committee Members:
Aldo Marin, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon,
Carlos Yepez, Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco,
Fernando Ferrer, Jarrad Seuferling,
Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega,
Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Nirav Patel,
Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier,
Robert Vazquez, Steve Cox,
and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends:
Ben Velazquez, Dr. Manuel A. Moran,
Dennis Rodriguez, Edward Caban, 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.

David Rodriguez, Ginalisa Monterroso,
and Karla De Epstein


Guidestar Twitter  FacebookInstagramYouTube
Copyright © 2018 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020

Cristian Rivera Foundation November 2016 Newsletter



Cristian Rivera Foundation 2016
November Newsletter

November is always an exciting month for The Cristian Rivera Foundation. First, there is Thanksgiving and who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? We love being able to take the time out of our busy schedules and spend time with our family and friends to reflect on the past year and express gratitude. However, it is around our dining room tables, surrounded by those who love us, we take a moment to remember the unfortunate reality that many families are incomplete at the dinner table. Many families are missing their daughters and sons, they are missing their brothers and sisters. All because of this terrible reality of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG). The Cristian Rivera Foundation exists to fight so that no more families are incomplete on Thanksgiving-or any other day of the year.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation is also very excited about our 8th Annual Celebrity Fundraising Gala, which is on November 30th! We are thrilled with the Gala this year. We have been working hard to make this the best event to date.  We’re honoring Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York as our 2016 Humanitarian Award winner because of his work on increasing awareness about DIPG. We are so proud to also honor Dr. Mark Souweidane of Weill Cornell Medicine with the Vision of Hope Award for his seemingly endless dedication and hope to finding a cure for DIPG. We are proud to honor Board of Director, Craig Serra with the 2016 Service & Dedication Award for his commitment to the Crisitan Rivera Foundation. We are honored to bestow the 2016 Golden Wings onto Juliana Donnelly; her parents Brian and Doris will be addressing us at the Gala. As you probably already know, the 8th Celebrity Fundraising Gala is SOLD OUT! This is the third year in a row that the Celebrity Fundraising Gala has been sold out and this year- one month before the Gala!  We still have more exciting news to come about this year’s Gala, so stay tuned as we up to date!

Our Platinum Sponsors Our Gold Sponsor Our Silver Sponsors Our Bronze Sponsors

We look forward to seeing you at the 8th Annual Celebrity Fundraising Gala! If you did not get a ticket in time, there are still ways to be involved with the Gala. You can purchase a sponsorship or an ad to be featured in our program. You can make a donation. You can volunteer the night of the Gala. All monetary contributions are tax-deductible. All support is appreciated. We are excited to see our Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Committee Friends at the Gala! We are thrilled to welcome new- and returning- guests to the Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation’s Celebrity Fundraising Gala! See you on November 30th!

We’re proud to feature Committee Member,
Carlos Yepez

Carlos is the November featured Committee Member. Carlos is the Business Relationship Manager and Vice President of PNC Bank in West Windsor, New Jersey and President of the PNC Bank Latino Employee Resource Group in the Central NJ Market. He has two children and is married to Brenda. He has been part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation since 2015. We are glad to have him on our side!

We interviewed Carlos recently and asked him some questions about his involvement with the Cristian Rivera Foundation. Interview below:

1. What does it mean to you to be a part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation? I love being part of a great organization. I love being a soldier in the fight against DIPG. This is an important fight and I’m proud to be a part of this organization to find a cure.

2. What is your favorite part of the Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation’s Celebrity Fundraising Gala?

The part that is my favorite is also really the saddest part of the night, but it is my favorite because it is the most impactful. When the video featuring Cristian and all the other children who suffered from DIPG is played the entire room gets quiet, emotional, and contemplative. The other guests and me sit there and think about what we just watched. It inspires me to work harder and to do everything I can to help find a cure.

3. What do you enjoy the most about the Cristian Rivera Foundation?

I really like that the Cristian Rivera Foundation Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Committee Friends are all volunteers. All the proceeds we raise go to research, which means your donation goes to finding a cure. The people receiving your donations are real people. Dr. Mark Souweidane is a very sincere guy. We have the right people involved in this organization. It is about getting people to understand the cause and to donate. We’ve made huge strides in such a short amount of time-imagine what we can accomplish in the long run!

Happy Birthday To Our Committee Member

Manuel Morán
November 29

Remembering DIPG Angel Birthdays
Remembering DIPG Angel Anniversaries

The Cristian Rivera FoundationJohn “Gungie” Rivera
(Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation & “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”)Board of Directors of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
Andy Epstein, Darlene Rodriguez and Craig Serra.Committee Members of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
Aldo Marin, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon, Carlos Yepez, Dennis Rodriguez,
Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega,
Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Miriam Colon, Nirav Patel, Robert Vazquez,
Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier, Steve Cox, Teddy “DJ Tedsmooth” Mendez,
Tony Ferrara and Vito Bruno

Committee Friends of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
Ben Velazquez, Dean Feratovic, Edward Caban, Jerry Chaparro,
Mark Rosner, Modesto Lacen, Pablo Diaz, Paul Pristavec, Robert Dominguez,
Steven Rodas, Victor Martinez, and William Pla

Support the Cristian Rivera Foundation
by Purchasing a Cristian Rivera Foundation
Wristband or T–Shirt.

Follow Here to Purchase Your Own CRF Wristband or T–Shirt

Make a Tax Deductible Donation to
The Cristian Rivera Foundation
>>Follow Here<<

Follow Us:
facebook youtube twitter youtube