Mattie Miracle 9th Annual Walk & Family Festival -- Raised over $97,000

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

May 21, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008, two months before Mattie was diagnosed with childhood cancer. I can't think of the month of May without being reminded of tent moth caterpillars. Something Mattie loved collecting. In fact, in this picture, Mattie was holding one of the jars we used together to house caterpillars. In fact, the jar Mattie was holding was filled with caterpillars. We would clean out the jar daily and make sure the caterpillars always had fresh oak leaves to eat. I can't tell you the numerous moth release ceremonies we had on our deck. I would say at least two dozen moths! In fact, when I see a moth fly into our deck space now, I always wonder if this was a moth we had released. Despite the fact that adult moths do not live more than days, each moth I see still reminds me of my time with Mattie and his love for nature and how he enjoyed the process of helping these caterpillars along until they became moths.

Quote of the day: What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. ~ C.S. Lewis

Peter, Karen, and myself were up to close to 2am trying to manage Walk materials, finances, and get things sorted and reorganized from the day's event. In fact, it takes me about two weeks or so, to shut down all walk related tasks. Peter, Karen, and I have this post-walk clean up down to a science, since we have done it together for three years now. Needless to say, we are all still exhausted today. Besides the physical toll of the Walk, there is a huge emotional component to planning and hosting the Walk.

Over the next few days, I will share some of the photos I took at the Walk as well as photos sent to me by friends. We did have two professional photographers at the event, who offered their services to us PRO-BONO!!!, and when I receive their photos, I will be posting several of them on the blog as well.

At 2pm, we had a 30 minute ceremony on the day of the Walk. The ceremony was comprised of a greeting from Peter, and then we had a family who survived Leukemia, share with the audience their reflections on their battle and how it impacted every member of their family. After the Eichner's spoke, I then gave a greeting in which I invited attendees to think of family more broadly then just one's biological family. When battling cancer, we can learn that people who are not even related to us can rise to the occasion and become vital parts of our lives and care team. After the ceremony, we officially began the Walk. Our special guests held our banner as we began walking around the track. Many of the special guests with us in this picture are survivors of childhood cancer and having them participate with us in the day is a very powerful force for Peter and I, as well as for the attendees. 


There are many special people in this picture, and I am so happy our friend captured the moment. The man in the picture with the sunglasses is Nelson. Nelson is the Fox 5 cameraman who worked with Beth Parker to cover our news story last week. After we were interviewed, Nelson said he wanted to come to the Walk. Not only did he attend, but he brought his daughter with him and they walked together. We were very touched by his presence. In the background (with the green shorts) is Meredith. Meredith befriended Mattie after he was diagnosed with cancer, and she and her sister Louise, had many special play dates with Mattie and they appreciated his wit and creativity. So much so, that they created the infamous character Matticus Brownus! The two teenage girls in the right hand part of this photo are Ella and Isabel. Isabel (with the sunglasses) is the 14 year old girl who created wonderful magnetic bottle caps with logos and images that meant something to Mattie and the Foundation. Isabel was one of our teen vendors at the Walk and her friend Ella assisted her as she sold her merchandise. Ella selected to do a service learning project on Mattie Miracle and the Walk and I look forward to seeing pictures of her poster presentation.

I snapped a picture of my dad with Katie (a child life specialist at Georgetown University Hospital), and Brandon (Mattie's big buddy). Katie manned a Georgetown table at the Walk and at the table kids got to see xrays, play with stethoscopes, and create their own buttons.

I also captured a picture of my Mom and Donna. Donna is the kindergarten teacher at Mattie's school who has invited me to her classroom two years in a row to do a Picasso and Matisse lecture series. My mom and Donna hit it off and they had a good time at the kid and teen vendor tables! There was great creativity in that area, and I am truly impressed with what the kids designed and SOLD! They helped generate together over $500 in sales. Very impressive!!!

We captured a picture of Peter's family all together (though we are missing Peter's dad in this photo). From left to right are: Vicki, Chris (Peter's brother), Nat (our nephew), Sydney (our niece), Peter, Will (our nephew), Lisa (our sister-in-law), and Barbara (Peter's mom).

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