Cristian Rivera Foundation

Max Lacewell
Date of Birth: June 2, 2003
Date of Diagnosis: October 29, 2008
Earned His Wings: July 4, 2009

Max was known by his nickname, “Little Dude,” but there was nothing “little” about Max and how he touched so many people in his short life.

When he was five, he started Kindergarten … and was so excited about going to the same school his big sister attended. Max, was a vibrant little boy who loved Star Wars, Legos and sushi. Two days before Halloween, at the age of five, he was diagnosed with one of the rarest, deadliest, and most aggressive forms of cancer- Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Less than 10% of the 100-150 kids diagnosed each year live beyond 18 months from diagnosis. In Max’s case, he survived only nine more months, until the fourth of July.

Out of love for Max and the determination to help other families facing this cancer diagnosis, Max’s family and friends established The Max Lacewell Foundation to bring awareness and find a cure for brain stem glioma tumors.  Over the last five years, our 100% volunteer run organization has donated over $550,000 for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago with the hopes of  ultimately establishing a research scholar dedicated to DIPG.

​Max lives on in the hearts of the many people he connected with … and we are determined to do what we can to help find the cure for DIPG so other “little dudes and dudettes” can have more powerful weapons against this cancer.