Today marks six years since I received the worst news any parent can hear. It was January 22, 2007 when doctors reviewed Cristian’s MRI and determined that he not only had a brain tumor but a DIPG brain tumor. I could barely believe what I was hearing as they told me my son could possibly live another nine months, if they were being optimistic. There was no way Cristian’s Mommy and I would let that happen and over the two years that followed, we did everything we could to not only save his life but make his remaining time on Earth the best it could be. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to beat DIPG at that time. This horrible disease would eventually take another victim and rob us of so many wonderful years with Cristian. I didn’t give up hope then and I haven’t given up hope yet. That day changed me. From the day I learned my son was sick, my mission in life has been to find a cure for DIPG. I wish we had been able to find a cure in Cristian’s lifetime but in the years since, DIPG research has come so far that I feel confident we will find one in mine. I can’t wait for the day when no parent will have to walk into a hospital and hear the same chilling diagnosis we did on that fateful January day. Until then, Cristian’s memory will live on in my heart, in the hard work of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, and in the hearts and minds of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him in his short but wonderful life. Cristian, I miss you and love you 10.
John “Gungie” Rivera
Forever Cristian’s Daddy