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

July 13, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. Mattie began chemotherapy in August of 2008, and one of the things he instantly turned to throughout the battle was art. Next to us, you will see the FIRST ceiling tile in the clinic that we as a family (Mattie, Peter, and I) painted together. This tile remains in the clinic today. Mattie LOVED Scooby Doo, and this tile kept us focused, talking, and invested in something, at a time when we were beyond frightened and scared!

Quote of the day: I was very close with my sister before Tanya died. Her daughter was six months older than Tanya. Four years after Tanya's death, my niece was getting married. I couldn't go to her wedding. It was just too painful a reminder for me to face. I had to protect myself. My sister couldn't forgive me for not coming. The bride understood. But I'm alienated from my sister now. That's another loss. I want her in my life again. ~ Veronica

As I mentioned before, I am reading When the bough breaks. Within this book was tonight's quote. Unlike Veronica, I do not have a sister, however, regardless I can relate to the sentiments she expressed wholeheartedly. The reaction that Veronica had with her sister, I have with my friends. Veronica couldn't attend her niece's wedding, and I view this as equivalent to being unable to attend birthday parties and graduation ceremonies of my friends' children. In Veronica's scenario, some people understand and yet some do not. It can be painful for me to attend events that I know Mattie will never be able to participate in. Not being able to attend milestone events is a loss for me as a parent but also as a person. At times it feels like I am a complete outsider and do not feel like I would belong even if I decided to attend. Nonetheless, I am not sure what the solution is, since not participating in things can affect relationships because when you can't connect over such meaningful dates and occasions, then it becomes hard to know what to connect on. I find this particularly true with my friendships which were established over our common role, being a mom.

Today, I had a close to five hour licensure board meeting. I began working on the licensure board before I became pregnant with Mattie. The board has known me as a doctoral student, a professional, a mom, and now a bereaved parent. In so many ways, I have grown up on this board. Our board attorney jokes with me all the time. When I first joined the board, I did not have a solid understanding of the enormous responsibility before me. I thought we just processed applications of individuals who wanted to become professional counselors in the District of Columbia. This couldn't have been further from the truth, since this accounts for about 1/4 of what we do! The board also helps to create and uphold licensure laws, we are responsible for overseeing ethical violation hearings, sanctioning professionals which can involve revoking licenses, and interfacing with the public and licensed practitioners who have questions about how the profession is regulated. Needless to say, NO meeting is ever boring. It is very stimulating, and forces one to think legally, ethically, and at times have a vision for the direction of the profession. Most of the things I did professionally before Mattie got cancer and died, NO longer interest me. But working on the licensure board still excites me, stimulates my mind, and keeps me connected to my profession.

This evening Peter and I went out to dinner, and as we were headed home, we bumped into a neighbor. She started talking to us about how her life did not turn out how she expected. That in reality, she has learned that life is filled with great disappointments. She is preaching to the choir on that one, but I listened and did not lament, instead I empathized with her. I did this because I feel deeply for anyone who tells me that things did not turn out as planned, which means that things did not turn out like one hoped. Hope is a funny word, it is hard to describe and even harder to understand how to achieve it. Yet lack of hope can be easily seen in the eyes, demeanor, and words of a person. As I reflect on my neighbor and all of us who have lost hope in our lives, may we find it somewhere, because without it, even a flicker of it, it is quite hard to live from day to day.

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