Wednesday 14th of July 2010

Today is Valeria’s birthday. I’m keeping her parents in my thoughts and prayers as they go through the difficult task of marking a child’s birthday after they’re gone. Sadly, they are not alone. Brain tumors of all types rob so many parents of their children, turning occasions that were once happy into something really sad. I’ve joined the DIPG group on Google so I hear about the children who are suffering. I read about the frustration of their parents. We’re losing 5-7 kids every week to this disease and it has to stop.

My good friend and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Vic Latino is doing something to help put an end to these unnecessary deaths. He’s raising awareness by featuring the Foundation in the marketing for Mega Jam 2010. It’s a great event. The star of Nickelodeon’s iCarly, Miranda Cosgrove, is hosting. There will be performances by Natasha Bedingfield, Kelis, Shaggy, Kardinal Offishal, Lucas Prata and many others. It’s so nice that Cristian’s Foundation can be part of something that puts smiles on children’s faces because that’s what it’s about. I want DIPG children to have long, happy lives and not succumb to such a terrible disease.

Sadly, we still have a ways to go before we find a cure. For now, I’ll think about Valeria on her birthday. I’m still wearing the bracelet she made for me. She asked me to give it to Cristian because she didn’t know he’d already died. But I promised I would give it to him and when I see him in heaven, that’s the first thing I’m going to do.

John “Gungie” Rivera
Forever Cristian’s Daddy