The Cristian Rivera Foundation Newsletter for May 2020 is here!

May 2020 Newsletter

Cristian Rivera Foundation 2020 May Newsletter

It has been an eventful month for May here at the Cristian Rivera Foundation. As our country slowly takes steps to reopen, we have been charging Full Steam Ahead to continue doing what we can to help those affected by DIPG.

It is official that our 3rd Annual CRF 5K will be held completely VIRTUALLY this year! There are still so many exciting ways we can continue to make a difference in the world even though we may be at home. The 5K will take place on Sat. July 11th and registrants from all over the nation will be walking or running for DIPG children. You can walk in your living room, around the block, or go for a safe run in your local park! All virtual participants will receive a 3rd Annual CRF 5K T-shirt. Take a video of yourself sporting your shirt on your walk or run and we will be compiling a video of all our 5K participants from around the country! The video will be featured on our website and all our social media platforms. Learn more or register for the Virtual 5K here.

Speaking of ways to change the world from the comfort of your home, one of our board members, Maggie Meehan will be hosting a Cardio to Zen-Virtual Workout Fundraiser on Sat. May 30th at 11 am EST! There will be two workout classes back-to-back for only $25 – no equipment needed! The classes will be held online via Zoom. The first will be a fun cardio kickboxing class followed by a relaxing and muscle-toning Pilates class. Save lives and get a good workout in, all from the safety of your home! Learn more or register here. Zoom info will be sent to class participants once payment is confirmed. All proceeds will go towards DIPG research and family support during these trying times.

In other great news, we’ve added 4 new members to our CRF team! This is the first time in history that we’ve brought in team members from around the country. Now that so many companies and organizations are shifting towards working from home, we’ve realized that we can work together towards this cause, no matter where we are! Read all about our new team members below.

Austen Conrado

Austen Conrado is a senior at Fordham University studying Marketing. He hails from Wayne, New Jersey, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and traveling the world. Austen joined the Cristian Rivera Foundation team because he wants to spread awareness about DIPG and help give children the hope of overcoming this cancer.

Halleigh Ficarro

Halleigh Ficarro is from Sayre, Pennsylvania. She is a current student at Marywood University where she is studying Nutrition. When asked about why she joined our team, Halleigh said, “Being a part of this foundation means the world to me. The Cristian Rivera Foundation is a wonderful cause that makes me proud to be a part of. I joined this organization to make a change and give hope. The Cristian Rivera Foundation gives children the hope that they need. Hope keeps children going and it can go a long way. Every child deserves a smile and I get to give that smile to these children. This foundation changes the world and I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful organization.”

Jessica Ivey

Jessica Ivey is a Biology major at Baylor University and lives in Dallas, Texas. Jessica decided to become a part of this organization because the cause is one that is very important and close to her heart. Jessica said, “I wanted to be able to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, particularly concerning DIPG, in any way that I could. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to help work towards finding a cure for DIPG.”

Ranjani Anirudhan

Ranjani Anirudhan is an incoming senior at UT Austin majoring in Neuroscience. Ranjani said, “I chose to join the team at CRF because of the foundation’s cause and commitment to actively finding a cure for DIPG. I really wanted to see the work ethic and dedication that goes into running a small nonprofit and look forward to this experience!”

We are ecstatic to have these bright and talented minds aboard our team to help channel all our skills towards promoting DIPG awareness and helping our foundation grow. As difficult as this period in our society has been, there is always hope on the horizon, and there are still ways that all of us can leave the world better than we found it – no matter where we are.


Our Mission

The 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

Available on our website

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”

Chairman of the Board:
Andy Epstein

Board of Directors:
Carlos Yepez and Darlene Rodriguez.

Committee Members:
Aldo Marin, Alex Arizmendi, Alex Garcia,
Carlos Colon, Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling,
Ed Martin, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer,
Francesco Quattrone, Jarrad Seuferling,
Jesse Allison, Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega,
Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro,
Paul Pristavec, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier,
Rena Kliot, Steve Cox, and Vito Bruno.

Committee Friends:
Alberto Torres, Ben Velazquez,
Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Edward Caban,
Maggie Meehan, 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 and Karla De Epstein


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Copyright © 2020 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved.

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