Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 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

June 15, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. We stopped along the way at a country store. I wanted to see what was inside, particularly the local foods and crafts they were selling. Naturally my two fellows weren't as interested in shopping as I was, so after a quick glance, they then went to sit outside on the porch. When I came out of the store, I found them both rocking back and forth on these lovely hand made chairs.

Quote of the day: A goal without a plan is just a wish. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

My dad sent me tonight's quote, and though it may seem simplistic, it most definitely rings true. For example, applying this quote to the Foundation's Walk, it maybe our goal to plan a major fundraiser and community awareness event, but without a PLAN, nothing would ever get accomplished. The Walk is a full time job in and of itself, and then compound it with all the other activities and events we planned or went to this year, and we had a very full plate. In January, a woman contacted me about our Walk. She wanted to host a similar Walk for her friend who is battling cancer this year. She heard about Mattie Miracle from another childhood cancer organization. She asked me for my Walk timeline, notes, and any other helpful information to generate and run such an event. It has taken me three years to get the Walk down to a science, and believe it or not, my plans are NOT on paper. They are in my head. So when this woman wanted my plans, I couldn't give them to her, but I did try to give her some helpful pointers, suggestions, and ideas to help her move forward with her event.

So far over the past two days on the blog, I have shared the following children activities with you: 1) balloon animals, 2) face painting, 3) childlife table, 4) juggling, 5) Lego tables, 6) magic show, 7) moon bounce, and 8) nail art. Tonight, I will highlight our rock climbing wall, the Lego train and city scape tent, and our food area.

This is the third year in a row that we have had a rock climbing wall. The unique nature of this wall is its sheer size, 26 feet up into the air. Most portable rock walls, are not that tall. Each year, this wall attracts children of all ages, and though some may be intimidated by the wall at first, they feel a great sense of accomplishment once they have reached the top. The rock wall company is very much into monitoring the safety of the children, and each child who climbs is strapped into a belay or harness.

I have entitled this picture..... Concentration! I love how this fellow was completely focused upon his climb and I think the facial expression speaks for itself.
Thanks to the Washington,  DC Metropolitan Area LEGO Train Club (WAMALTC), an amazing train and city scape scene were set up at the Walk. This picture shows some of the dedicated WAMALTC members in attendance at the Walk for the whole day! Mattie would have been intrigued by these men, especially since they share his love and enthusiasm for Legos. Which proves to me, that Legos is so much than a toy, it has therapeutic and educational properties for people of ALL ages.

Can you imagine how long it took these men to set up this Train and City Scape design? You would be surprised!!! They did it in about an hour, which is miraculous, considering how detailed and intricate it is!

This train tent captured the attention of children and adults alike. This was NOT a stationary display. The trains were moving around the track and throughout the city landscape!  
Check out the intricate details of this city park! How this all gets transported and set up at a remote location is a feat, especially since I know how fragile certain Lego structures can be.

As I look at this little boy observing the trains going around the track, I have to wonder what he was thinking about. He seems as if he was studying and absorbing what exactly was going on before his eyes and trying to understand it.

Mattie Miracle is very fortunate to have a wonderful connection with Becca Jacks. Becca is the executive chef of Clyde's at Tyson's Corner. Becca also helped us this year  successfully comply with the City of Alexandria's Health inspection of our Walk food areas. Becca donates all the cooked foods to the Walk, she also cooks them to order on site, and many of our supporters enjoy meeting and talking with her. As you can see from this picture, the food area was bustling during the Walk.

We have three food stations at the Walk. One is where Becca grills and serves the food, the second is where Patricia (our food committee chair) is located. Patricia manages all the food proceeds, and sells non perishable items ranging from drinks to candy and chips. The third food station is run by Marisa. Marisa has been our bake sale committee chair for three years in a row! Marisa was one of the caregivers who helped me entertain Mattie when he was home between hospital stays. Marisa is a very dedicated part of Team Mattie, in fact, her whole family is instrumental to our success (her mom, dad, brother, and boyfriend all participated and volunteered at the Walk!). One of the bake sale treats Marisa sold this year, were 120 mini cupcakes donated to us by Georgetown Cupcake. My understanding was the cupcakes and large donuts were a hit this year!

This year, Mattie Miracle had to complete several Alexandria City permits to host our event at Mattie's school. One of the stipulations of the health department   was we were no longer allowed to sell home made baked goods. All our items had to come from a store. This naturally changed the nature of our bake sale, as well as the way supporters who normally contribute to this event could participate. Nonetheless, Marisa handled these new requirements very well, and was motivated to make this work regardless of the stipulations. Volunteers like this who are committed to our cause, and to making this a successful event are beyond priceless to us.

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