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The mission of the Cristian Rivera Foundation is to help find the cure for the Pontine Glioma brain stem tumor that ultimately claimed Cristian’s young life. The Cristian Rivera Foundation donates all monies raised to hospitals and foundations actively researching cures for Pontine Glioma through medical trials and scientific research. The foundation has already contributed $40,000 to the research of Dr. Mark Souweidane of Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Souweidane has dedicated his career to the surgical treatment of children with brain and spinal disorders. His novel treatment delivery approach is entering the clinical trial stage and thus far has yielded promising results. The Cristian Rivera Foundation is dedicated to supporting promising, innovative research like this in pursuit of a cure.
On January 22, 2007, I received the worst news of my life. My 4 year-old son, Cristian, was diagnosed with an inoperable Pontine Glioma brain stem tumor which generally affects kids 1 to 9 years-old. It has no cure and it also has a life expectancy of 3 to 18 months. Cristian’s battle for his life lasted 2 years and a few days (passing away on January 25, 2009) but the new battle in honor of his new life has begun. Cristian, I love and miss you dearly. Ever since you passed away, I committed myself to help find a cure for this deadly disease so that no other family would have to go through the grief of losing their beloved children. In keeping with this commitment, I have created the Cristian Rivera Foundation in your honor.