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

June 18, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006, at Sesame Street Place in Pennsylvania. We took Mattie there for Memorial Day weekend, and he absolutely LOVED the park. Mattie was a HUGE Elmo fan, and literally left the park with an Elmo balloon we bought him, and then another huge Elmo balloon that one of the characters decided to give him for free. The park was a great experience for us since it wasn't crowded, it had just opened up for the season, and therefore everything was pristine. We also saw an amazing Memorial Day parade at the park, filled with military personnel in their regalia. Mattie also loved hearing the parade's patriotic music and watching his favorite characters walking by and waving.

Quote of the day: The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge. ~ Meister Eckhart

My dad sent me tonight's quote, and I must admit I had to read it several times to get it. Or at least get my interpretation of it. I think our outer shell as human beings evolves, changes, and of course weathers over time. In fact, so many things can impact our facade and throw it off balance. Yet despite everything that comes in and out of our lives, at the inner core, our personality and who we are remains stable and solid. In essence our inner self guides us during both the good times and bad and keeps us grounded or swinging in the right direction. Just like a hinge, our inner being may allow certain things into our hearts and minds to greatly affect our lives, and yet for some things we may find the hinge almost rusted out, making things impenetrable. I find the notion of grief, particularly grief associated with the loss of a child, to be one of those hinges in life. For some people, allowing the words and feelings associated with grief to swing into their lives so that they can absorb the feelings and thoughts of another's pain is possible. Not easy, but possible. For others, this hinge is closed, or not well oiled. Our United States culture breeds and almost rewards a rusted hinge as it relates to processing sadness, loss, and grief. These are taboo issues, or at least issues that are expected to be resolved or disappear in weeks, and certainly by a year. After all, grief for example is not talked about at work or with friends for the most part. It is a subject that is frowned upon, or a conversation stopper. However, if you examine other cultures around the world, they are far more progressive, and holistic to their understanding of loss and grief. Loss becomes an integral part of one's life forever, and friends, family, and communities acknowledge this loss in more open ways. I urge you all to oil your loss hinges, because from my perspective the number one way to help a friend or family member cope with loss is to allow that person to reminiscence, to talk and reflect freely, and to be present within their lives.  

This morning Peter and I had a conference call with Brett, our lobbyist at Mercury. Brett has worked with us for two years now, all probono. When he signed on to help us, we thought it was only for a year, but Brett is in this for the long haul. His call today, was to get an update on our events, to talk about next steps, plans for next year, and in essence a pep talk. I am not sure how Brett knows exactly when these talks are needed, but it was very appreciated today.

Below you will find more pictures from the Foundation's Walk.

Greeting our attendees that day, was a large poster indicating our Walk sponsors and the over 40 organizations who contributed to our Walk Raffle.
This year, thanks to ABC Imaging (, the Foundation put together some promotional signs that discussed our mission, objectives, and our Foundation Accomplishments. The last sign, shows a visual of our accomplishments with pictures from our year's events!

Though this is a family fun day, we feel the need to provide awareness and education. As you can see here, we displayed our research posters for attendees to read if they should want childhood cancer facts.

Inside the Foundation tent is always a table which captures Mattie's memory and spirit. If you look closely on the table, our friends Toni and Brandon (Mattie's big buddy) left a beautiful bouquet of pink roses near Mattie's things!

This is Margaret and Susan. They help run our Foundation table at the Walk. Margaret is our friend and Mattie's preschool teacher, and Susan is my friend and a former student of mine.

This is Karen and Tina. They were working in the Foundation Tent, and also worked with me for three hours before the event started setting up tables, covering them, and helping with overall logistics.

The photographer caught some priceless shots at the registration tables. This is Gabe, who attended the  Walk with his parents. Gabe lost his sister to cancer. His smile to me is captivating, because to me it showed his anticipation of having fun.

Our Walk Raffle is a significant component at our event. It is housed under its own tent. This year we featured 13 different raffle items!

I love this picture because it features a mom and baby sitting with each other as they fill out raffle tickets. The raffle actually generates a great deal of excitement, and thanks to technology, a great deal of raffle tickets were also purchased on line this year.

Ann is our raffle ticket winner caller, and each year she has family, friends of Mattie, and children draw tickets out of each raffle box to select the winner.

As you can see here, this is an example of one of our thrilled winners. Annie won the American Girl raffle basket and was beaming with excitement. You can almost sense it from seeing this picture.

Standing next to Ann are several of Mattie's buddies, Abbie (Ann's youngest daughter), and Abby and Emily (my friend Mary's children).

I would like to end tonight's posting with a message I received today from my friend and colleague Nancy. Nancy wrote, "I wanted to write yesterday and after reading Friday’s blog, I am ashamed to say that I was unsure of what to say to both of you. I knew that yesterday would be difficult and I wanted to be supportive, yet, felt unsure of how to say what was in my heart. I give Virginia my gratitude for writing such a beautiful tribute to Peter. In it she captures so many qualities that highlight the Brown family. I am glad that I’ve gotten to know Peter. For to know Peter is to know a gentle heart and soul which encompasses a strength that only few can accomplish. Peter and you have shown such a positive face to your readers and then you give us a dose of what life is truly like for the two of you. I think that is what made the article that Charlie sent this week so impacting on me. Grief is such a strong feeling, a personal one which many try to push aside as it just hurts too much. What you have accomplished in these last years was monumental and life saving, even though, it came at a great price to your family. Reading the blog this weekend was a great reminder of the power of love and support. I applaud both of you on your accomplishments! I am humbled by the truthfulness of your sharing and essence of your humanity. You add to the world. You are unsung heroes to those who know you."

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