Mattie Miracle 8th Annual Walk & Family Festival was an $88,000 Success!!!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

April 17, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 -- Mattie died 136 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2009 in the clinic. That day Peter took Mattie in for his MTP-PE (which was an experimental immunotherapy) infusion. While in clinic, Mattie worked with Brandon (his big buddy in the background of this photo) and his art therapists, Jenny and Jessie. Next to Mattie was a character Mattie designed, built, and invented that day. I introduce you to Dr. Crazyhair! Dr. Crazyhair had feathers for hair, a pipe cleaner stethoscope, and even had an oyster shell in his pocket. The shell represented a patient's TOE NAIL of all things! Dr. Crazyhair is not exactly small, but the good doctor remains in our living room today. Honestly how many kids would create such a character? I don't know, but to me it speaks to Mattie's whimsy and sense of humor. When I look at Dr. Crazyhair now it reminds me of the spirit that was Mattie.

Quote of the day: Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected. ~ Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

My friend Charlie sent me tonight's quote and it speaks to me, for it is only through connectedness can we really effectively serve, help, and support people. However, becoming connected to a person is not always easy because it involves an investment in time, energy, and commitment.

This type of connectedness I see within our Foundation's Walk committee. Last night, I had a meeting with many of our key committee chairs and walk volunteers. So many of the women in attendance were moms with me at Mattie's preschool or kindergarten. Mattie entered preschool in 2005, and now seven years later, these moms still volunteer their time to help us. Certainly they may volunteer because the Foundation has a worthwhile mission, but I suspect the reasoning is much deeper and gets back to that word.... connected. Preschool and kindergarten are tender times in a child's development, and these fragile times cause moms to bond with one another in very meaningful ways. So if there is any doubt about Remen's quote, I have to look no further than our team of volunteers to see it operationalized.

This morning, I sorted all the coffees, teas, cocoa, bandaids, and crayons that were donated to Mattie Miracle in honor of Mattie's 10th birthday. Later this week, I will be taking all the items to Georgetown University Hospital. We want to thank our supporters for remembering Mattie in this way, and using his memory to help countless families at the hospital. My understanding is that Keurig Kcups are like liquid gold for families who are in the pediatric in-patient units. So I know all these items will be greatly appreciated. While sorting and stacking today, Patches, our calico cat, came over to supervise. I snapped a picture of all the items in total! RATHER IMPRESSIVE! 

Specifically the tally is:

500 pieces of construction paper
544 crayons
113 boxes of kid themed bandaids
678 kcups of coffee
116 kcups of cocoa
154 kcups of tea

I met my friend and Walk Raffle chair, Carolyn, for lunch today. Carolyn and I have been working closely together on this year's raffle since January. However, this is Carolyn's third year chairing the raffle and her sense of humor, level of organization, and dedication to the Foundation are very much appreciated. Carolyn's daughter, Ellie, and Mattie were in the same preschool class and Carolyn was telling me today that Ellie remembers when I would volunteer in her classroom because I was always nice to her. Each Mattie Miracle Walk, Ellie sees her mom working to generate funds for the Foundation, so this year, this soon to be 10 year old, has it in her mind that she too wants to do something and help raise money for Mattie Miracle. Children are so influenced by their parents, and Ellie's inspiration to help I have no doubt is a direct reflection of watching her mom over the years, as well as the fact that she wants to do something in memory of her classmate, Mattie. This is another example of how "we can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected."

After lunch, I went to Mattie's school to set up Donna's classroom for the Matisse session with the kindergartners tomorrow. I finished cutting hundreds of cut-outs for the children to use for their hands on art project and also baked croissants filled with chocolate (in honor of the fact that Matisse was born in France and a popular snack for children is Pain Au Chocolat). So stay tuned for pictures of the children's cut-out creations tomorrow night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vicki - you obviously connected with so many of the preschoolers in a very profound way. Nora has a few vague memories of preschool, but she very clearly remembers holding your hand while walking to Goodwin House and asking you to "do things" (her words) with her when you co-oped. When you and Mattie came to our house for lunch/playdate, I remember thinking that I didn't know if Nora was more excited about a playdate with Mattie or having YOU at her house! I think you must have made each of those kids feel very special. I don't think very many adults take the time to do that. Thank you.