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

September 6, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2002. Mattie was one month old, alert and curious as could be. In this picture, Mattie was trying to stare at Peter who was holding a camera and taking a photo. Mattie's little hand was desperately trying to reach up and grab at whatever he felt was in front of him. To me this picture captured Mattie's character, personality, and adorable face in a memorable way.  

Quote of the day: If you have made mistakes…there is always another chance for you…you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~ Mary Pickford

For those of you who emailed, much thanks! My dad did take a CT scan yesterday and we are grateful that no tumors were found in his lungs!!! In the midst of worrying about my dad, I learned that one of Mattie's wonderful child life interns lost her father yesterday to a sudden heart attack. Her family is devastated and Peter and I reached out to her. It turns out that Lesley let me know that in lieu of flowers her family has asked that people make contributions to the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation instead. I was deeply touched by this form of acknowledgement and tribute to the memory of her dad. As Lesley said, we changed her life and had a profound impact on her development. I assure you the love and admiration goes both ways, Lesley and Whitney were an incredibly dynamic duo (as my mom called them), who knew how to relate, appreciate, and engage Mattie while living in the Hospital.  

Mary Pickford's quote resonated with me today, which is why I am posting it tonight. This morning I went to my zumba class, which was excellent as usual, and gets the mind and body working first thing in the morning. However, after class, I stopped by to see my friend Mary, who lives in an assisted living facility. Mary was basically mute for my entire visit, but I am so used to this now. In fact, I probably would be more surprised if during my visits Mary actually talked with me like she once did. Mary's caregiver, Shayla, was with her, and typically Shayla and I land up talking and try to stimulate and include Mary in our conversations. Toward the end of my visit with Mary, I saw Catherine. Catherine is a patient in Mary's facility who I have gotten to know over this past year. Unlike the other patients on Mary's floor, Catherine is much younger and cognitively intact.

Over the past month, I have done a lot of travel, and though I have always made my way into see Mary throughout the summer, I haven't been as good about visiting Catherine. Catherine always enjoyed my visits in the past, and I know she appreciated the mental stimulation. Any case, while I was away I learned Catherine had heart surgery, and today was the first time I have seen her in a while. Physically she looked the same, except for the large incision in her chest. An incision I was quite familiar with given that Mattie had a sternotomy to remove 9 lung tumors. What shocked me about Catherine was her mental state. Catherine no longer knew who she was, that she had surgery, or who I was. In a way I was mortified to see this rapid change and then felt very guilty about not visiting her sooner. Unlike Pickford's quote, some times we just make mistakes and these mistakes aren't correctable. I am quite aware of the fact that dementia would have happened to Catherine whether I visited her or not, yet without visitors and stimulation from the outside world, I have no doubt dementia can take root and grow wildly, as I saw today. Needless to say, seeing Catherine has weighed heavily all day on my mind, and it makes me reflect upon the philosophy with which I try to live my life.... in that it is vital to make time for people, to communicate openly and honestly, and you never get a second chance at making an important connection with someone.  

My faithful readers know that on Tuesday, I went for an MRI at Georgetown University Hospital. While in the waiting room, our friend Tim surprised me with a visit. On Tuesday, Tim was wearing a beautiful orange tie and he told me he was wearing the tie in honor of Mattie and furthermore he would be wearing an orange tie each day this week to commemorate Mattie's third anniversary. On Wednesday, Tim sent me this picture. Tim wasn't just saying to me that he was going to wear an orange tie all week, he really meant it. The picture speaks for itself.  
This morning, I woke up to a picture of today's orange tie! Tim told me that his colleague at work has been admiring his ties this week, and with that, this gave Tim the perfect opportunity to explain to her why he was wearing orange. It is safe to say that Mattie's memory is alive and well at Georgetown and being shared with others who never even met him.

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