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

July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2008, about a week after Mattie's diagnosis. We were all in the library room of the pediatric Lombardi Clinic discussing Mattie's treatment plan. While Peter and I were talking to Mattie's doctor, Mattie was with Jenny and Jessie (his art therapists) creating a "bone bug" out of clay. You can see this clay bone bug on the floor in this picture, and Mattie was in the process of stomping on it to kill it. This was art therapy at its best, because this exercise was designed to help Mattie visualize what chemotherapy would do to his cancer. Chemotherapy would act like his foot, in essence stomping out the bone bugs inside him. I wasn't sure how to explain Osteosarcoma to Mattie, but since I knew he related to bugs, I coined the term "bone bugs." A term that was adopted by everyone treating Mattie, and used to help explain his treatment throughout his entire battle.  

Quote of the day: The measure of success is how you deal with disappointments. ~ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Today Peter and I went to see the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I have wanted to see this movie for a while now, because it features two women I love, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton. Both women star in our favorite British Miniseries, Downton Abbey. I imagine the plot may not necessarily attract people our age, but it certainly caught my attention, regardless of the movie reviews. When we entered the theatre today, Peter commented that I can certainly pick them. Which means that we were at least 20 years younger than the other movie attendees sitting around us. Again that may trouble some, but not me. In fact, when I see older adults attracted to something, that usually means it is of quality to me. Mainly because like older adults, I am attracted to movies NOT because of special effects, but for a good story. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel did not disappoint. In fact I LOVED it!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to "outsource" their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.

I am not a retiree, nor can I relate to the developmental concerns that the characters in the movie express, and yet, I related to the movie on an emotional level. One of the characters, Evelyn, in the movie lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. She was then forced to live life on her own, and deal with the financial debt her husband left her. One day she calls her Internet provider to request a particular service change. The representative will not talk to her because the account is not in her name, it is in the name of her husband. When Evelyn explains that her husband died and therefore the representative will have to deal with her, the representative doesn't skip a beat and stayed on script,  never saying she was sorry to hear Evelyn's news. It was a short clip in the movie, but very powerful, because it immediately showed us how in our quick paced and technologically savvy world we have lost the art of being human and connecting on a human level. The beauty of the movie is it caused me to see how at times we are all lost figuratively and yet the test of success is how we deal with life's disappointments. Though this movie featured characters in their 70s, who are trying to figure out what their retirement means to them, to me this movie goes beyond age. Sometimes we all need a change in our surroundings and to connect with others to reveal what lies deep within us, so that we may reinvent ourselves and become re-engaged with the world. Which in all reality is what Peter and I have been forced to do since Mattie's death. We are in search of who we are, dealing with life's disappointment, a sense of emptiness, and an uncertain future. To me there is great overlap between what these retirees in the movie were forced to contend with and what we are dealing with each day. 

One of my favorite lines in the movie, which we are told is an old Indian saying, is, "Everything will be alright in the end, so if it is not, then it isn't the end." A saying that seems to capture the hope we all need to cling to during difficult times. The movie is filmed on location in India, and besides an emotional journey, it also takes you on a journey to a culture very different from our own.

Movie Trailer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:

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