Saturday, October 1, 2011

A year has gone by as DJ continues his journey

A year has gone by since DJ underwent his surgery September 8th 2010. I remember like it was yesterday, the night before going to bed kissing my kids goodnight knowing that as a family we were going to face the toughest emotional day of our lives. As I held DJ I remember how hard it was to hold back my tears. I let him know that tomorrow Dr. Handler at the Denver Children's Hospital was going to make him all better. I remember after everyone was safe and sound asleep that I walked to the family room to have a moment to myself. In that moment I found myself praying to God. "Lord I know your here and that life has many ups and downs. I wanted to thank you for everything that you have done for our family and I am very grateful for all that you have provided us. Please take care of my son and watch over him as he goes through this surgery. AMEN"
It's now a year later and DJ is doing amazing. The doctors are amazed on what he has accomplished in 1 year. DJ started Kindergarten 6 weeks ago and is so excited to be in school of course gym and recess are his favorite! Kristen has been volunteering at the school which is wonderful to know she is close by if he needs her. She has also become a Board Member on the school PTO, so proud of my wife! DJ has continued to work very hard in therapy and has made great strides! This summer DJ went swimming with his sisters and friends for the first time since  before surgery. I know it was tough for Kristen to let go of DJ to see if he could swim again knowing that his right side of his body still has a long way to go. But then DJ who has always been a little super hero said "Mom, let me go I can do it." The most beautiful, uplifting, inspiring and at the same time heart pounding words a parent could here from their child! She let go but never left his side. That day, that hour, that defining moment DJ gave "Once you choose hope anything is possible" an even stronger meaning.
DJ is very excited to be in school. He recently ran over 1 mile in the Trot-a-Thon for his schools annual fundraiser! Tiana who is in the 4th grade now also ran her little heart out. She tied with two other girls for most laps ran in the 4th grade! So proud of these kids.
Tonight we will be attending a benefit hosted by The Sanger Foundation who helped  our Family and many others during their time of need. We are so thankful for everything they have done for DJ and our family. Please take the time to visit the site and see how this foundation came about and how they have helped many families!
We are all very excited for our first vacation since DJ's surgery.  Next week we are going home to visit family and friends in Arizona! It's been really tough being away from our family and friends for such a long period of time. Everyone's love and prayers have been such a blessing to our family and we hope to see as many people that we can during our visit. Kristen & I could never express just how much we are grateful to have you in our lives, but hope we can try by continuing to love and teach are children to help others in need and to appreciate life which has many ups and downs but will always be a beautiful journey with the love of family and friends.


  1. So happy to hear that Dj is doing so well! Way to go Dj you are an inspiration to us all! God bless little super hero!

  2. The Rivera is family is so amazing! You have conquered some much over the past year and it is an honor to be a part of your lives even on the smallest level! We miss you all!

  3. DJ's an inspiration to us all. Can't believe it's been a year already.

  4. What a remarkable story and wonderful loving family and friends! Though we have never actually met. My kids and I are so happy to see God has blessed Dj and your family. What an inspirational story thanks for sharing.