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 28, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2008 at Roosevelt Island. This picture was taken about a week before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. As was typical of our weekends, we always went for walks. Feeding ducks was something Mattie loved to do, I literally saved old bread and crackers for just these outings.

Quote of the day: Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.~ Albert Einstein

Since May, I have wanted to go to the Titanic exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. An exhibit acknowledging the 100 year anniversary of the ship's sinking on April 15, 1912. I have always been intrigued by the Titanic, and I know I am not alone, clearly, since the exhibit is entitled, "Titanic 100 Year Obsession."

Einstein's quote tonight seems very appropriate considering the exhibit we saw today. The White Star Line was quite sure that its Titanic was unsinkable, so much so that history reports passengers being told that even "God couldn't sink the Titanic." I relate deeply to the Titanic's story because what this tragedy shows us is that our fate and destiny are truly out of our control. The builders of the Titanic lost the needed humility and awareness needed to thrive in this world. I say that because when you reflect on the fact that this massive ship was only equipped with 20 lifeboats, not enough to even rescue half of the passengers, you have to wonder. It was almost like they were tempting fate.

I believe the reason why this exhibit is being featured this year at the National Geographic Museum, is that the first to unveil images of the ship's wreck was National Geographic's own explorer Robert Ballard in 1985. I learned today that Dr. Ballard had a fascination with submarines and the ocean as a little boy. Fortunately growing up in San Diego gave him access to study at some of the best oceanographic institutes. Ballard wanted to locate the Titanic wreckage, however, that wasn't the main purpose of his expedition in 1985 which led to its finding. Unbeknownst to some, this trip was financed by the U.S. Navy for secret reconnaissance of the wreckage of two Navy nuclear powered attack submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher, which sank in the 1960s. Back in 1982, Ballard approached the Navy about his new deep sea underwater robot craft, the Argo, and his search for Titanic. The Navy was not interested in financing the search for the large ocean liner. However, they were interested in finding out what happened to their missing submarines and ultimately concluded that Argo was their best chance to do so. The Navy agreed it would finance Ballard's Titanic search only if he first searched for and investigated the two sunken submarines, and found out the state of their nuclear reactors after being submerged for such a long time, and whether their radioactivity was impacting the environment. Ballard was placed on temporary active duty in the Navy, in charge of finding and investigating the wrecks. After the two missions were completed, time and funding permitting, Ballard was free to use resources to hunt for Titanic. What you should note however is that the two submarines sunk in close proximity to the Titanic. To the rest of the world, however Ballard's trip was promoted solely as a search for the Titanic, and not as a reconnaissance mission to determine the state of affairs of a sunken submarine with nuclear weapons aboard.

This is the sign that greets you as you enter the exhibit.

There was a wall filled with all sorts of movie posters featuring the Titanic. I am not sure what the fascination is with the sinking of this ship, yet I know I have one. I find it absolutely frightening what the passengers aboard this ship had to endure and marvel at the resilience of those who survived such a nightmare.

This is a photo of the Ship's hull with massive propellers. The people standing next to the Ship's hull puts the size of the Titanic into perspective.

This poster was entitled, "Building the Titanic." It explains that competition was the motive for creating this large vessel, a vessel which was built for speed, size, luxury, and reliability. It was hoped that the Titanic would capture the minds and hearts of the wealthy but also those who wanted to leave their own countries in search of a better way of life.

A sample menu was on display. The Titanic had three social classes aboard the ship: first, second, and third (or sometimes referred to as steerage). These classes were separated with actual doors or gate, they did not mingle, nor did they share the same decks, dining rooms, cabin floors, or common areas. When I first saw this printed menu, I made the assumption this was for first class passengers. However, upon further inspection Peter and I think this was a second class menu, especially since the menu indicates at the bottom that beer is $3 or $6 a tankard.

These are some interesting facts about the supplies needed to keep the Titanic operational for her passengers and crew.

This is how luggage was brought aboard the Ship. The process looks very different today, since so much of it involves machines and is automated now. Back in 1912, each piece of luggage was hand carried onto the Titanic. Take a look at the size of these TRUNKS!
This was an advertisement geared toward 3rd class passengers. If you look at the sample room on the poster, it had two sets of bunk beds in it, and between the beds was a toilet and sink!

Whereas, here was an example of a first class cabin.

This was a copy of the SOS radio-telegram that was received regarding the Titanic. The first line says, "SOS from MGY." MGY was Titanic's call sign in Morse code.
Peter and I both had the opportunity today to sit down in front of a machine and try to do Morse Code. We had this sign in front of us which indicates how letters are replaced by certain dots and dashes, but I can tell you trying to tap out these dots and dashes precisely on the machine is NOT easy.

Peter took a picture of this poster because I was fascinated by the explanation for the lack of lifeboats aboard the Titanic. I also find it interesting that when the Captain ordered the evacuation of women and children first, this directive had two different interpretations by his crew. Which was why some male passengers actually survived.

These next two posters I think are haunting. This poster acknowledges the number of people saved aboard the Titanic that night.

As you can see the sinking of the Titanic caused a great loss of life. However, if you compare both the numbers saved with the numbers lost, you will notice that a majority of women and children made it off the ship and were saved by the Carpathia. Also note that there were ONLY 23 women crew members aboard the ship, the rest were men.  
Thanks to Dr. Ballard, the debris field of the Titanic was mapped out and he was able to declare with certainty that the ship did break into two while sinking. The bow and stern of the ship landed 1970 feet apart from each other on the ocean's floor.

No one really knows why the Titanic sank. There are many theories out there, and this poster captured a few. Despite it feeling like 100 degrees today, the three mile walk to and from the museum was well worth the trip.

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