. Journal - The Cristian Rivera Foundation
Please click on the date to read the corresponding journal entry.

Tuesday 25th of October 2011
Whispers to Heaven

Call me crazy, but I truly believe my son is my Guardian Angel. I speak to Cristian often. I speak to him when I need courage, when I feel sad, when I miss him. I ask Cris to help others all the time too. Like for my best friend, Jackie. Cris knew and loved Jackie very much, he also loved her son Lucas. Lucas was Jackie's Angel baby that passed on. I know our boys are in heaven, and I called on them to watch over Jackie's sensitive pregnancy. With the help of many prayers, Jackie gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, baby girl. I know this little princess has some of the most special angels in heaven protecting her.

I also know that I am not the only one who speaks to Cris, I know my family and friends do too, and even some of you whom I have never met. I sometimes sit back in amazement of my son. How did such a little boy, touch so many? Thank you Cris, for choosing me out of all the Mommies in the world. Thank you God, for sending us an Angel.

God promised his children eternal life. For anyone who has ever lost someone, you are not alone.
"For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.
With their hands they shall support you,
lest you strike your foot against a stone."
Psalms 91:11-12

The word angel comes from the Greek word, angelos; which means messenger. God is always speaking to us, only when our hearts are open are we able to hear him. I will leave you all with a poem I dedicated to Jackie on the loss of her son long before my Angel left me. Today I would like to dedicate it to Juju's Mom, Francesca.

The Cord
We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

Author Unknown

Love & Blessings,
Cristian's Mommy
Jenelle Asencio

Tuesday 16th of August 2011
On Broken Wings to Soaring High

I may be a stranger to some of you, or some of you may have wondered where I have been? My name is Jenelle, I am Cristian's Mommy. I never left, I have always been in "my space" mourning the loss of my son and continuing his legacy in the way I deemed best. I decided that the way I wanted to help people was by becoming a nurse, so that I could be hands on with children like Cristian and families like our own. That is the way I wanted to "pay it forward", I am currently in college working towards that goal (wish me luck). Every semester when I begin a new course, the professor usually has us write a short bio about who we are, goals, etc. and I always have to re-tell my story of my life with Cristian and how he is my inspiration. I usually get looks of shock, sympathy and pity when I tell our story, and I always tell people it’s ok, don’t feel sorry for me. I will say the same to all of you who are reading this. Don’t feel sorry for us, help us. Help us help other children like Cristian and other families like our own.

John, with the help of many wonderful people as many of you well know, has created this amazing foundation. John has been "paying it forward" for the last three years, and I must congratulate him on all his accomplishments and success.

Something unexplainable happens to families when you are living with a terrible illness as well as the loss of a child. It is sad but common. Grief takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions, and once you are on that ride, reality is blurry at times. I remember sitting in the hospital, unable to control my emotions; thinking that my son had the most dysfunctional family on the planet. The doctors or nurses would reassure me that we were most definitely NOT. Most families go through a wide range of emotions when dealing with grief. According to Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (a world reknown psychiatrist) there are five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I can honestly say I experienced each emotion and I’m sure John would agree.

John and I may not have always seen eye to eye on certain things, we may have hurt each other in the midst of our grief, but we have two very big things in common. We ADORE our son and we want to make sure we put an END TO THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE, so that no child or family has to endure what we have. Sometimes you have to put egos aside, leave the past where it belongs, FORGIVE and start anew.

John has asked me to take my rightful place in our son’s foundation and I proudly accept. Nobody can continue to live Cristian’s legacy better than us, and all of you who loved our son.

“We are like children, who stand in need of masters to enlighten us and direct us; and God has provided for this, by appointing his angels to be our teacher and guides”
-St. Thomas Aquinas

Your prayers and thoughts have lifted us up and carried us in times of despair. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting us from Day 1 and continuing to do so.

Love & Blessings,
Cristian's Mommy
Jenelle Asencio

Tuesday October 30th 2007
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame" - Psalm 34:4,5 Today was Cristian's MRI, and it read that his tumor has not grown and is currently stable. We believe that the new treatment is helping. Like I mentioned before this treatment is not a cure. My hope is that this medicine will help Cristian until we do find a cure. I was so moved by all of the emails, and messages in our guest book this week. When I read them I'm so inspired to keep fighting, they give us strength and hope. It makes me feel that we are not fighting this alone, we have an army of angels behind us. Many are from people I've never even meet and it just goes to show there is beauty and compassion still left in the world. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of our family, THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU!!! You're prayers and well wishes are working!

Love & Blessings,
Cristian's Mommy
Jenelle Asencio

Friday 26th of October 2007
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

OCT. 26TH,2007

First and foremost I would like to thank you for taking the time to stop by our page. This is my first time writing a journal entry. It has been 9 months since our son was diagnosed. When I sit here and try and remember all the details from January 2007 when our lives would be forever changed till now I must admit it's a bit of a blur. I wish i would have started a journal back then, but mentally I wasn't prepared. It was so much to take in, I really have to thank God for giving us all the strength and support of amazing family & friends for bringing us this far. I will gather all my information so that I can write a more accurate summary of the past nine months. If you look at the "Treatment Plan" section of our website you can see a brief summary of what meds and treatments Cristian has received thus far.

What we are doing now:
On Aug. 2nd, 2007 Cristian received an MRI which showed that his tumor was beginning to grow again. Because he had already finished his maximum amount of radiation in the previous months, it wasn't an option to do it again. Honestly we had little options left. After speaking with Dr. Stephen Gilheeney one his doctor's from the Neuro-oncology team at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He suggested phase 2 of a clinical trial he was participating in. This clinical trial consists of administering once weekly, intravenous Temisirolimus. The doctor explained that this is a drug that has been previously used in adults with tumors and has shown signs of stabilizing tumors and in some cases shrinking them. This clinical trial is the the first time they have tried using this drug with children. With clinical trials come side affects, some small, some big. Thank God till this date Cristian has tolerated the medicine extremely well with no side effects at all. His last MRI in Sept. 25th,2007 after about approx. a month and a half on being on Temisirolimus, showed that his tumor was stable and had not grown. Because it was too soon to tell we are not sure if it was due to the new meds or not. Cristian has another MRI scheduled for Oct. 30th, 2007. We are praying that his tumor is still stable, and I ask that you please keep him in your prayers. This drug is not a cure, it's hopefully something that can give us more time until we do find a cure.
Thank you and God Bless,
Jenelle & John

Since this site is new we don't have all of our info up just yet, if you are parent and have questions that we weren't able to answer please feel free to email us at gungie@victory2multimedia.com or jenelleasencio@yahoo.com
i will be glad to help in anyway I can.