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 15, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. This was when Mattie began chemotherapy, yet as you can see, it was before any of his surgeries. I always say, Mattie entered the hospital in July of 2008 walking, and after November of 2008, he never walked again. In this picture Mattie was walking JJ, our resident Jack Russell Terrier. JJ and Mattie basically grew up together. Though JJ is a dog, he understood that Mattie was very sick, and when Mattie died, JJ developed depression. He wouldn't eat for over a week and was lethargic. Not a typical quality of JJ's. Even now JJ still comes to to our deck, sneaks under our deck gate, and sits by our front door, looking and hoping to find Mattie.

Quote of the day: People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Our wedding anniversary was today. Despite not being a phone person, I did speak with both Peter's parents and my parents, and Karen (my lifetime friend and my maid of honor), sent us a very touching email. While I was talking to Barbara, Peter's mom, she could hear that I sounded congested and was having a hard time breathing. This feedback was important for me to hear because I know something is wrong with me, but we can't pinpoint what the medical problem is yet. I continued this dialogue with my parents. Despite it being an absolutely hot and humid day out, I wanted to get out of our home and have a change of scenery. So we went to the DC aquatic gardens. This is the time of year when the beautiful lotus flowers are in bloom, and I try to see this special treat every year. We captured some of our sightings below, sights that we always shared with Mattie. Mattie loved the aquatic garden!

In Buddhism, lotus flowers symbolize mental and spiritual purity. When I came to the gardens this afternoon, I was edgy, but being surrounded by this greenery and beauty, it felt very tranquil. I truly believe being surrounded by the lotus is very therapeutic.

The wonderful part of this garden is you can see the whole life cycle of these Lotus flowers for as far as the eye can see. It felt like 107 degrees outside today, but there were several other people among us photographing this special natural beauty.

In honor of Mattie, we snapped a picture of this Dragonfly sitting of a newly budding Lotus flower. Mattie LOVED bugs, all kinds of bugs, and therefore Peter and I became very good at spotting them in order to point them out to Mattie. We did this for seven years of his life, so some habits are hard to break now.

As some of my readers know, I am a big Monet and impressionism fan. One of Monet's series of paintings featured Water Lilies from his own garden. The DC aquatic gardens is filled with lilies which helps me understand Monet's fascinating with their color and elegance. 

As we were leaving the gardens today, this big Black Swallowtail Butterfly was flying around us and then settled on a purple plant. Peter snapped a picture of this ethereal creature. A creature that somehow captures Mattie's spirit for me.

I would like to end tonight's posting with a message we received from my mom.

Happy Anniversary to Vicki and Peter by Virginia R. Sardi

Time does go fast and moves even faster the older you get. Your seventeenth anniversary is here and yet it seems like only yesterday you were exchanging marriage vows. There is so much to reflect on, both good and bad. The good is abundantly obvious to all who know you. A natural affinity drew you to each other when you first met and it seemed to all who knew you that you were kindred spirits born to share your lives together. It is no wonder that your love produced a happy marriage that was hallmarked by the birth of your son, Mattie. In the early years, your life together was filled with happiness and achievement, as you created the structure and substance of a home life to inculcate good values to Mattie in his formative years. Together you taught Mattie to love animals and nature so much so that your garden was one of his favorite places to be and fishing with Peter on the Potomac River became the weekend activity of choice. Later on, he was attracted to the tent moth caterpillars and their habits, an interest that was astonishing in one so young. He collected the oak leaves they liked to eat and enjoyed feeding them himself, cleaned their habitat, and observed them grow. He was fascinated by their development and awestruck when metamorphosis changed them into moths. His interest in trees, flowers, and wildlife always sustained him in tough times and is a tribute to your influence on him in his earlier years. When Mattie was first diagnosed with cancer in 2008, destiny put you on a lonely road of twists, turns and obstacles that made facing the future a hideous nightmare of epic proportions. When you lost him, it destroyed your fondest dreams and the normal expectations that all parents have of watching their son reach manhood to make his own place in the world. In retrospect, Mattie's life on earth resembled the changes in the tent moth he once so studiously observed. His earthly body that once was so precious to you was transformed by death, like a bolt out of the blue, into a butterfly that flew away into another dimension of time and space never to be seen again. People, except for parents who have lost a child to cancer, will never know the pain and suffering that losing a child brings to parents left behind. All who know you admire your steadfast commitment to each other and know how traumatic this loss has been and how much soul searching was necessary, as evidenced by your daily blog, to search for a new meaning in life that incorporates the spirit of Mattie. Once again, you have proven that you both have "the right stuff" to weather any storm and create miracles from heartaches, much like our storybook heroes who turn crushing defeat into victory. You took your love for Mattie and with Athena like wisdom, evolved it into a Foundation to benefit children like Mattie beat the odds when stricken with cancer. Love for Mattie gave you the passion and dedication to write a blog that told his story to the world giving others a reason to join you in your fight against the demonic plague of pediatric cancer. You have enlightened your readers by increasing their awareness of the issues that must be addressed before new drugs and therapies to improve their survival are a reality, a reality that is already long overdue. Psychological issues faced by kids with cancer is a topic often ignored but through the blog has become one of the most insightful aspects of the observations and commentaries that you made from watching Mattie's response to disease and treatment. It is now acknowledged that there are psychosocial components to pediatric cancer that are often left untreated. The future for kids with cancer can be made much brighter if counseling becomes a standard part of treatment, a point you make in the blog and in panel presentations. In closing, always remember that your work on behalf of kids with cancer makes you a vital force of good in their troubled world and makes your work as important to them as your advocacy once was to Mattie! Happy anniversary and many more!!!

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