Last night was the Third Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala, where so many family members, close friends, committee members, supporters and DIPG families came together to remember and honor Cristian on the day before what would have been his 9th birthday. In the months leading up to this event, I had felt Cristian’s presence more and more in my life. I felt him guiding me and looking out for me. I felt him alongside me, helping solve problems that would arise and show me the right path to follow. But I never before felt Cristian’s presence like I did last night. When I got home from the gala, I was sitting in Cristian’s room when I felt the most powerful feeling. Cristian’s heart and soul merged with mine. He entered my heart so slowly that it almost hurt. I felt an amazing warmth and force of love, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It lasted 10 minutes and then he left. Rholand had told me Cristian was going to visit me on his birthday and I am so grateful he did because it was an experience I will treasure always. Cristian, I love you 10 and I am in this fight until the end. Once again you have shown me that curing DIPG in your memory is my true calling in life and I know that you are as proud of the work your foundation has done as I am of you every day. Happy birthday.
John “Gungie” Rivera
Forever Cristian’s Daddy