Emiliano is a sweet 3-year-old boy whose family started noticing he was having trouble walking back in March 2020. After weeks of meeting with several specialists, there was no doubt that Emiliano had DIPG. By May, only a week after being diagnosed, Josue and Andrea’s baby boy began receiving chemotherapy once a week for 30 sessions. Thanks to the chemotherapy, Emiliano experienced some improvements, but his family refused to remain idle knowing that DIPG can quickly progress. Things began to look up when Andrea connected with the Cristian Rivera Foundation. After an emotional phone call, we discovered that Andrea had already been in touch with our friend Dr. Kathy Warren from the Dana Farber Institute, but Dr. Warren viewed their situation as a priority with our involvement. We were also able to connect her with Dr. Mark Souweidane to see if Emiliano would be eligible for our clinical trial.
With CRF’s help, in a matter of 2 weeks, Emiliano and his family flew into NYC to be treated on Dr. Souweidane’s trial at Weill Cornell Medical Center. On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 Emiliano underwent the Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) procedure under the care of Dr. Mark Souweidane. The whole procedure was split into two parts – the first was a 3-hour long surgery and the second was a 14-hour long infusion of chemotherapy directly to the tumor. We cannot help but sense that fate has connected us with this incredible family after also learning that Emiliano is receiving care from the same oncologist and social worker that assisted Cristian many years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering. We like to believe that Cristian is pulling some strings in Heaven for our new little friend. We’re happy to share that with the help of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, JRF has donated $9,000 towards the Aguilars’ Airbnb and living expenses during their stay in NYC for treatment. In addition, the Cristian Rivera Foundation has given the family over $10,000 towards their expenses. Emiliano’s family is currently in the process of finding further treatment options and he is continuing to fight hard against this horrible disease.
Who is Emiliano?
Emiliano is a sweet and happy boy who loves Mickey Mouse and his favorite movie is Coco! His favorite food is pizza although Emi is known to eat very healthily and would choose eating kale over chocolate any day (because he thinks chocolate is way too sweet). He loves dogs and also loves Facetiming with our founder John and his daughter Sophia. Emiliano is always laughing and smiling, caring for others, and loves to share. He has been a life mentor to us all in learning how to carry joy through every experience.
We Love You 10!
The National Cancer Institute allots less than 5% of taxpayer funding to pediatric cancer research, and that’s for all pediatric cancers. Of that already slim percentage, DIPG research specifically takes a backseat in comparison to more common cancers. This is why saving the lives of children affected by DIPG is up to family foundations like ours.
Stay updated on Emiliano’s journey by following her on social media and donate to her fundraising campaign below. Full Steam Ahead!
Donate to Emiliano: cristianriverafoundation.org/help-emiliano/