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

June 3, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008. We took Mattie out on the Potomac River in a canoe. Mattie loved being on the water, checking out the birds, and even fishing! Prior to having Mattie, I appreciated the outdoors, but my interest in nature grew with Mattie. In Mattie's first years of life, he hated to be confined and really preferred fresh air, regardless of the season. So I learned to go outside, do all sorts of nature trails, go on the water in boats, and you name it to keep him stimulated and entertained. The irony is that through Mattie's cancer battle I have now become just like him. I prefer being outdoors and the fewer the number of people around me the better.

Quote of the day: Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be. ~ Heath L. Buckmaster

Today was a hard transition back for both Peter and me. Hard in different ways. Peter had 1000 work related emails to answer and process through. He did this while also juggling meetings, and a work agenda. I on the other hand had to come to terms with the fact that our vacation is over and now I need to devote time to things that fell by the wayside while planning the Foundation Walk.

A good portion of my day was spent evaluating a National Institute of Health grant proposal that one of the psycho-oncologists who works with the Foundation sent to me. He wanted my take on the project and felt that between being a mental health practitioner and a parent of a child who had cancer, that I would have the necessary insights to evaluate the project. This proposal was sent to me prior to the Foundation Walk, but it was only today, did I have the energy to read through all the pages and its attachments!

As I say often, one can be a clinician working with parents of children who have cancer for years, and therefore have great insights from on the job training. Yet, despite all the training and assisting of families, nothing takes the place of first hand knowledge. Unfortunately in this case, I know all too well about the stresses and traumas associated with having a child diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, what sounds like a good technique or strategy in theory, is just that..... theory! For example in the proposal, parents of children battling cancer will have the opportunity to work one on one with a therapist for six to eight sessions in the hospital. Each session is over an hour long. Between sessions, parents are asked to do homework. Honestly when I read this, I laughed out loud and then said, "you got to be kidding me!!!!" When in the hospital caring for Mattie, I never left his side for over an hour even to eat and take a mental health break. So most likely leaving his side to attend a training session, was definitely not going to happen. Forget homework! I am lucky I had the where with all at the end of the day to write a blog and brush my teeth. If anyone asked me to do homework in the midst of this nightmare, I would have had a fit! So again, what works in theory and what the reality is can be two different things!

I would like to end tonight's posting with three more photos from the Foundation Walk. These photos focus upon the wonderful foods and snacks we sold at the Walk. Pictured on the left of this photo, is Becca Jacks. Becca is the executive chef of Clyde's in Tysons Corner. For three years in a row, Becca has donated all the hot food to our Walk and also comes to cook and serve it! If that wasn't enough she also helps me meet code and qualify for a health inspection on the day of the event! This is one remarkable, loving, and generous woman. Little did I know that while Mattie was enjoying all the food at Clyde's at the Mark Center, Becca was the chef back then preparing his foods! We appreciate all of Becca's efforts and her compassion for our cause. In the middle of this photo is our friend Tanja. This is the second year in a row that Tanja has assisted Becca. Working by a hot grill all day long is no easy feat and it takes a special kind of friend to do this. We are grateful to Tanja for her steadfast support and I know how wonderful and effective she is while working with our walk attendees who are buying food. We have an amazing food team is all I can say!

New to our team this year was Greg! Greg is Becca's fiancé. Greg came to support and assist Becca and from what I heard, Greg was talking about the Walk and his experience at it for days post-event!

The other special lady on the food scene is Patricia. She is pictured with the black jacket. Patricia has been in charge of food since 2009 (starting with the Walk the year Mattie was alive). So technically she and her family have been in charge of food for us for five years. Managing the transportation, set up, selling, and clean up of food is NO easy task!!! Yet Patricia does it without batting an eyelash. We are very grateful to her, her husband Bernie, and her children for always being there for us, working so hard, and committed to our cause.

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