I am greatly appreciative of the support that the Cristian Rivera Foundation has been getting in the lead-up to our fourth annual gala, which, as you know, is coming up on Thursday September 13th. I remember when we had our first gala way back in 2009, when we raised $14,000. From those humble beginnings, we have grown and thrived and today we can say that the Cristian Rivera Foundation has raised more than $200,000 to help fight DIPG. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, not only at the foundation but also in the medical community. When Cristian was diagnosed, doctors told me that the tumor was inoperable. It seemed very unlikely that we’d find a cure for DIPG in my lifetime. But now, thanks to the amazing work of doctors like Dr. Mark Souweidane of Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical Center, the impossible now seems more possible than ever. Dr. Souweidane has found a way to operate on this once-inoperable tumor. Since his groundbreaking clinical trial began on May 1, he has operated on two young DIPG patients who continue to do well after surgery. This year’s gala falls on Cristian’s tenth birthday, and there is no better way to honor his life than to come together and help make sure DIPG becomes a thing of the past.
John “Gungie” Rivera
Forever Cristian’s Daddy