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

April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2007. Mattie was five years old and he and Peter were outside admiring the painting job that we did on our balcony. Mattie was actually a great painter. He wasn't messy and his attention to detail was excellent. In fact, Peter and I just finished painting our deck two weekends ago, and while I was painting I couldn't help but reflect on who was missing from this family project.

Quote of the day: Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have. ~ Arthur E. Morgan

I learned from Peter that today was "Take your child to work day!" A great day in theory and how wonderful for a child to be able to learn about the work that a parent does and see the environment such work is performed. All of that is fantastic of course unless you happen to be a parent whose child has died. It is very hard and challenging at times to accept our reality. Naturally we do, we don't have a choice, but on days like this it takes an inordinate amount of energy not to become bitter, angry, and openly hostile at what others have and what we lost. I can't speak for Peter, though he is far more in control of his emotions than I am, but I know with so many things approaching us this spring, I just want to scream.

Tomorrow Peter and I are going to Baltimore to speak at a palliative care conference, while in comparison, Mattie's friends will be attending their school's spring festival. If that isn't enough, Mattie's friends will all be graduating from the lower school this May and then entering middle school in the Fall, and of course summer approaches when children are out of school and families are busy with one another. ALL things we no longer can participate in and experience. These are all feelings that "take your child to work day" can evoke and provoke!

Today I met our friend Tim, who is an administrator at Georgetown University Hospital. Tim connected me with the director of community service at The Georgetown Visitation School. I appreciated this connection because there maybe some wonderful opportunities to get these girls involved within our Foundation. I haven't been to this School since Mattie's celebration of life service in October of 2009. Our Team Mattie community helped us plan an amazing celebration of life event for Mattie and Visitation was an absolutely beautiful setting for this memorial and tribute. Though I was surrounded by vibrant students today and there was life all around me, as soon as I walked into the hallway of Founder's Hall, all I remembered was Mattie's death. As we walked the courtyard of the school, all I could hear was children singing a song they wrote for Mattie as red balloons were released into the air. Naturally none of these things were actually happening today but they will be forever in my mind. They play like a movie in the background.

It was a very positive meeting at the School, and I may always remember what Tim told the Director of Community Service today. He said given what Peter and I lived through and survived, it would be very justified if we "just walked away!!!" Meaning that we do not need to commit ourselves to helping other children and their families battling childhood cancer, that we went through enough, and when you lose a child to cancer it is easy for your heart and mind to become cold and closed off. But from his perspective this is not what happened. Needless to say, as Tim was elaborating on this both he and I were tearing up. It is hard to get me to tear up in public, I have built up a wall of protection, but that doesn't mean it isn't impenetrable.

Later when I got home and began working by my computer, my cell phone rang. I could see that my friend Evelyn was calling, so I picked up the phone. To my surprise when I answered it wasn't Evelyn, but her daughter Annie.  Annie is a sixth grader, and as my faithful readers know, Annie raised money in March for Mattie Miracle at her School's community service bazaar. Annie and her two friends made all sorts of crafts and in 45 minutes generated $200 for the Foundation! Today Annie had more good news to share with me. News I wasn't expecting!

Annie has been on a campaign to have her school raise money for Mattie Miracle. Today her school held a penny war. That meant nothing to me, until Annie explained the process. In today's penny war, there were two teams, the white and gold teams. In front of each team was a jar and a bunch of pennies. The team that tossed the most pennies in the jar in front of them would win. Also keep in mind that the White team could toss quarters into the Gold team's jar and vice versa. Quarters in essence subtract from the total score. Therefore the goal is to have more pennies and not many quarter in one's jar to win. But what were the White and Gold teams competing for? The competition was to determine which charity (Mattie Miracle vs. Another worthy cause) would be selected.

Annie's team won the penny war and therefore thanks to Annie's advocacy, persistence, and dedication, her school will be raising money for the Foundation during the week of May 15. Annie's school has one penny war per year, and I am absolutely thrilled that this year Mattie Miracle was chosen. But putting aside the financial support, I think what moves me the most is Annie. Our cause has impacted the thoughts, feelings, and ACTIONS of a 12 year old! As I told Annie tonight, she is one of our greatest ambassadors, and I mean that! Stay tuned for more details, since the school wants me to visit and do a presentation to the girls in May before the walk.

I end tonight's posting with a youtube video I received from our friend and Mattie's sedation nurse angel, Debbi. I typically do not take these ads seriously, but this Dove campaign is very, very revealing. I think it is a must see for every woman and teen. We are our own worst critic, and yet this illustrates that people do not see us the way we see ourselves. You may not get the video at first, but keep watching!

Dove Real Beauty Sketches


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