Steve Cox has been friends with our founder, John “Gungie” Rivera, since they were 11 years old and living in the Bronx. These childhood friends started DJing together when they were in high school. When John asked Steve to be a part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, he did not hesitate to jump on board. Steve has been a board member since the founding of the Cristian Rivera Foundation. He has been an integral part of the growth and impact of CRF. When Steve is not helping with a CRF project, he is working for UPS in the electronic commerce department. If you have ever had a package delivered through UPS and tracked your shipping information, Steve was probably a part of making that happen!
Steve has made a huge impact here at the Cristian Rivera Foundation utilizing his many skills. Steve discussed that he believes board members need to be charitable with their time. We can definitely attest to his commitment to the organization. Since becoming a board member, Steve has helped by inspiring others to be charitable and donate their time or money. He has also assisted with finding items that are able to be auctioned off for fundraisers. One of the major donations that Steve has worked for is Broadway tickets. The funds raised from auctioning off these items goes to supporting the missions of CRF including funding clinical trials, assisting families, and raising awareness about DIPG. Steve says that being a successful board member is about, “Finding the time to get involved as needed, where needed”.
One of Steve’s fondest memories since being involved with the Cristian Rivera Foundation is the 1st Annual CRF Celebrity Gala. He loved to see how everything was pulled together and the energy of everyone coming together to help out was inspiring for Steve. He also has fond memories of the Annual Boat Rides and 5Ks. These events are wonderful experiences that bring people together to make a difference. We can’t wait until it is safe to hold these events again and we can all be together again.
Steve has big aspirations for the future and can’t wait to see what the Cristian Rivera Foundation is able to accomplish. He stated that, “Ultimately success is to find a cure”. We are all working together every day with what we do with the end goal of finding a cure for DIPG. Steve also loves that our foundation works to support families with children who have DIPG and those families who have lost a child to the disease. Supporting families and raising awareness about DIPG are important steps on the way to finding a cure. He expressed that, “Just because we haven’t found a cure yet doesn’t mean that we haven’t been successful”. This is an important idea to consider. Although it can be hard to think that there is still not a known cure for DIPG, there has been progress made. There are children who have longer lives and a higher quality of life thanks to clinical trials. Steve says, “The fact that we have helped one child, that is a success where there was none before”. We have more work to do, but we are moving Full Steam Ahead and we have an amazing team that is going to help us get there!
By: Grace Ison