There are things that are simply bigger than sports, and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera has that perspective down pat. Back in August 2020, it was revealed that Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer that affected the coach’s lymph nodes.

Nonetheless, while Rivera was irate after being informed of such horrific news, that did not prevent him from helming the Commanders sideline during that season. In fact, he channeled his energy into coaching as a coping mechanism amidst a rocky portion of his life where he needed to undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Thankfully in January 2021, he was declared cancer-free.

Alas, Ron Rivera found himself in yet another excruciatingly painful circumstance in recent days. It was announced earlier this week that Rivera’s mother, named Dolores, passed away “peacefully”. And in a heartfelt gesture, the 60-year old coach pledged to honor his late mother by matching $100,000 worth of donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in a bid to help in the field of childhood cancer cure research.

“My family has dealt with a lot of cancer, but mom would say the worst is childhood cancer. My mom had a beautiful life and she would want a child to have the same. If you click this link & donate, I will match up to $100,000 to St Jude Hospital,” Rivera wrote on his Twitter account.

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According to, an estimate of around 10,470 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2022 alone. Of that number, around 10 percent are “expected to die” from cancer across the year, continuing to be the second-leading cause of death for children in that age group. The good news is that 85 percent of those diagnosed survive for five more years.

Thus, undertaking such as Ron Rivera’s are extremely important, and after knowing the tough obstacles he’s endured and the grief he’s processing at the moment after his mother passed away, all of his actions just show the tender heart the Commanders coach possesses.