It’s been 10 years since my first children’s book, the boy of steel. It was a book about a little boy who was suffering from cancer. At this time, I was heading a crusade with many baseball players, visiting kids with all sorts of ailments at hospitals.
At the time there was a young boy named Christian Rivera who was about to start a battle of his own. Christian was about to be diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG. Once diagnosed, just about 1% live about five years. Christian battled this disease for two years. In my book, the little boy wins his battle with brain cancer.
In the real world, poor little Christian does not, but millions of others will because of Christian’s dad. John Gungie Rivera has started his own crusade to help find a cure for DIPG.
John, a very successful music producer and promoter has dedicated his life to the Christian Rivera Foundation to help raise funds for hospitals and foundations researching cures for DIPG.
When Christian was first diagnosed, the disease was so rare and there wasn’t much information about it so there was little hope for a cure. Through Rivera’s efforts and that of the great doctors there has been much progress.
I have gotten to know John Rivera over the last few years now and can say that George Steinbrenner would have loved him because he just won’t give up and never will until they find a cure. I have four healthy kids and could never imagine loosing any of them. John’s fight is so that other innocent souls aren’t affected by this or any other disease.
Besides being a great cause, it is also a great event attended by many well known celebrities. Come out and support a great event.
For more information go to Christianriverafoundation.org.
Ray Negron can be heard on ESPN Deportes 1050 AM every Sunday from 11am-1pm and also he writes for Newsmax.