Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 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: www.mattiemiracle.com 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

June 8, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. Peter took Mattie to Nationals Stadium to see a baseball game. I wasn't with them, so I have no idea what Peter said to Mattie that caused him to show excitement in this photo. Mattie was like me, in that sporting events were not important to us. But both of us liked to people watch and fortunately for us, Nats park is filled with all sorts of places to shop, that it can keep even the non-sports enthusiast busy! In fact, it was at Nats park that Mattie built his first Build-a-Bear teddy bear. In Mattie's case, he selected to stuff a black stuffed animal dog and dressed it in Nats attire. This dog is on Mattie's bed even today!


Quote of the day: When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier. ~ Diane Von Furstenberg


Peter is safely in Boston, he left DC bright and early today, and was even able to attend the Red Sox game at 1pm. Apparently for the cult (I do think that Red Sox fans are part of a cult, they are NOT just fans!!!) following, you already know that the Red Sox lost today to the Los Angeles Angels. It started out grey and rainy and I thought the day was going to remain just as depressing as it started. Fortunately the sun did eventually come out. However, from my perspective it wouldn't have mattered at all. I have decided to work through Saturday and Sunday.

I began my day processing the last set of donations that have come in for the Walk. Acknowledgments were printed out, signed, and mailed. My next task was to tackle a large closet in Mattie's room. Though it was Mattie's room, he and I shared closet space. I have a tendency to hold onto clothes for quite a while, however, I couldn't handle the chaos I was seeing every time I opened the doors. So literally I spent a good six hours on this closet and made great progress. I have more to do tomorrow but I figure Goodwill is going to love me, since I am donating 18 pairs of shoes and countless bags of clothes.

All of us like to collect certain items, shoes are my hobby. I love shoes and even keep shoes that no longer fit me. I don't know the thinking there, maybe I thought one day my foot would somehow miraculous squeeze back into some of my favorite shoes. The shape of my foot changed after I gave birth to Mattie. I used to have a very narrow foot, but pregnancy changed that and my foot never went back to being narrow again. So today I said goodbye to all my lovely pre-Mattie shoes. Someone else will hopefully enjoy them because they are in great shape! All my shoes are kept in their original boxes because I like to keep them dust free and protected. As you can probably deduced from reading this.... I really LIKE shoes!

This afternoon, I took a break and went to visit my friend Mary who lives in an assisted living facility. When I got to Mary's room, she seemed startled to see me. Mind you I saw her yesterday and I told her I was coming today and tomorrow. But this kind of short term information doesn't get processed any longer in Mary's brain. Though Mary was mute, through a garbled word or two, I could tell she was happy to see me. We spent a few hours together, I helped her with dinner, and also put lotion on her arms and legs! I suppose it is no wonder why I have been nicknamed by Mary's caregiver as....."the lotion lady!" All I know is if I were in Mary's position, I would hope someone would come and talk with me, help me with dinner, and change the fragrance in the room and on me! These may seem like small things, but it is the small things when living in an institution that equate to a whole lot of BIG things!

June 7, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. A month before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. That weekend we took Mattie to Roosevelt Island with his remote controlled boat. As you can see, both Peter and Mattie took off their shoes and got in the water with the boat. What you may not realize though is that the backdrop of this photo is Georgetown. The elevated highway is what we took to drive to the Hospital. To me this photo almost foreshadowed what was to come a month later.





Quote of the day: A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either
imagination or a headache.
~ Catherine the Great



In the true words of Catherine the Great, the rain and winds of our tropical storm have given me a headache! I am being funny, because in my case, I do not think the WINDS or weather have anything to do with how I am feeling. It doesn't take much for a wild headache to overtake me and so therefore I was out of commission this afternoon. I wasn't feeling well this morning either, but I promised to visit my friend Mary, who lives in an assisted living facility, and talk with her caregiver about entering nursing school. Though nursing isn't my professional background, advising students is. I have become smart in this young lady's particular academic situation and have reviewed all her school's requirements as well as went with her to meet with several of her advisers this past year. So if people I interact with are motivated to get their lives on track and need moral support, I do try to help if asked.

Perhaps it is my personality, I am not sure. Though if you ask my lifetime friend Karen about my demeanor, she most likely will tell you I am a "very driven" person. I rarely settle for just good enough and I am driven by internal motivation not external ones. Which maybe why my head is in overdrive now with the Foundation regarding our next steps.  I sometimes pause and say I am not doing enough! Which of course is insane especially if I made a list of all the things I am managing. When I told my mom I had a headache today, her response came through loud and clear through e-mail. She feels after what I just planned for the Foundation, most people would not only have a headache but would be out of commission. It takes my mom to put things into context for me!!!

I am signing off for the evening. Peter heads to Boston for a few days starting tomorrow. So a weekend of rain, a headache, and no Peter should make for a very interesting mix.

June 6, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken on May 30th of 2008. It was Mattie's last day of kindergarten. Mattie was somewhat annoyed with me that I asked to take a photo of him before we left our home for school that day. Nonetheless, he complied, which was why I got that glazed, false Mattie smile. The smile that always told me..... I'm annoyed with you, but I will entertain your request! I am happy that I captured this moment in time regardless of the smile, because Peter and I only got one chance at the last day of school with Mattie! 




Quote of the day: You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. ~ Brian Tracy


Brian Tracy's quote resonates with me this week! I most certainly can't control that my life has changed, that we lost Mattie to cancer, and the impact all of this has upon me during the summer months. When Mattie were alive, during the summer....... I was entertainment coordinator, full-time playmate, chauffeur, maid, and the list went on. An all familiar list to any mom! My summers now look quite different, they can be very isolating, especially as those around me are busy with so many activities. Isolation and feeling different are not a great combination to sit with, especially after coming off of a whirlwind of planning for the Foundation Walk. I am not sure which is worse, feeling frenetic or feeling lost. The verdict is out!

But like Tracy's quote points out, the only thing I can control is my attitude. So to change my mood, I took myself out today to try a new tea house in my neighborhood. I walked around our area first and snapped some photos of the wonderful flowers I passed along the way. I then visited Paul (the name of the bistro), which is a French Family Bakery and Patisserie since 1889, and apparently it is an international company with bakeries in 20 different countries.

I should mention that on my way to Paul today, I had a run in with a beautiful yellow monarch butterfly. As if it was trying to purposefully say hello, yet as quickly as it came, that is how fast it disappeared. When the wait staff at Paul found out it was my first visit to their restaurant, they couldn't have been nicer. All I know is that in my neck of the woods, having access to a simple bistro like this is much needed where I live.

As the weekend approaches, I am coming up with a list of things I really want to focus upon and address. Mind you, I still haven't put away all our Walk materials. I have to manage this in stages, otherwise I do find it overwhelming. Since once I begin organizing a closet, to fit Foundation materials into it, it becomes a project which lands up causing me to sort, purge, and reorganize the whole closet. Naturally, I do focus upon the fact that we raised more money at this year's Walk than ever before, which of course ultimately enables us to continue to fund our local and national goals and objectives for the Foundation.
 

June 5, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008, at Mattie's kindergarten end of school year party. This maybe one of my all time favorite photos of the three amigos. Charlotte, Mattie, and Campbell became very close friends in kindergarten. They played with each other beautifully, they defended each other, and as Charlotte told us repeatedly, they were all going to go to college together and be roommates. I remember this day as if it were yesterday. For my friends, their children are now five years older from when this photo was taken, for me, my mind will always be trapped in kindergarten.  


Quote of the day: The right thing and the easy thing are never the same. ~ Kami Garcia

I have been able to accomplish a lot of Foundation post-walk paperwork and reconciling of databases in the past two days. However, there is naturally more to do, especially as it relates to putting all walk related items away, and securing them properly so they can be used for another year. We live in a two story townhouse with NO storage. If I had a basement, putting away posters, remaining t-shirts, bags, and so forth wouldn't be as complicated. But without a basement, the logistics become more daunting. I have become quite the organizer of closets. I remember when Mattie was ill, my friends Christine and Ellen came over to our home to try to help me with my closets. They did this because they understood that items and gifts were coming into Mattie faster than I could process them. During Mattie's illness our home looked like a bad episode from the show, Hoarders! In fact, it remained this way for over a year after Mattie died. Maybe longer!!! The reality of trying to clear out two horrible years of our life took courage! Courage that I had to muster alone. I cleaned out our home mostly single handily, of course with Peter's assistance. Every item was attached to Mattie in some way and therefore parting with anything was hateful. Mattie's room is still exactly intact, and Peter has asked me what we are going to do about this? The answer is..... I DON'T know! 

However, I still remember Christine's comments when she came over to help me years ago. She couldn't get over how I organized my closets with shelves and racks to maximize storage space. It was a compliment, because she did not think she would have come up with this system. Christine and Ellen helped me multiple times with cleaning things out when Mattie was alive, but it was like  trying to hold back the ocean. I can't quite describe the overwhelming number of toys and gifts Mattie received DAILY at home and in the hospital. It was wonderful and it kept Mattie focused and entertained. But these ITEMS had to go somewhere, and in an emotional crisis it doesn't matter where they go. So it gets stacked and piled. I know some people look at the concept of hoarding as unnatural and not feasible. I on the other hand realize that under the right circumstances with emotional issues to contend with, the dynamics are ripe for hoarding. I never took photos (that I can remember!) of our home in disarray, but I do remember it well! I suspect this is just one of many other aspects that people caring for a sick child do not necessarily openly talk about. But it happens and I also know it takes strength to tackle a hoard.

In the midst of working today, I have been following the case of ten-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who has end-stage Cystic Fibrosis, and has been on the lung transplant list for 18 months. I can feel the fear and dismay in her parents and I know what it looks like to hear that your child is going to die. However, unlike in Mattie's case in which everything medically possible was done to give him a chance at life, everything is NOT being done to help Sarah. Why? Because Sarah is a child and according to the transplant rules she doesn't meet the age requirements to receive an adult lung transplant (child to child transplants are much harder to come by, because in order for a child to receive another child's lungs, the donor child has to be in a vegetative state).

If you would like to learn more about this controversy, I have attached three links below. One is a video and news story about Sarah, the second is hot off the presses announcing that a federal judge overturned the transplant law today, and third is a petition her parents created. The parents were trying to get Secretary Sebelius to reconsider the policy outlined by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Naturally I realize policies are set up for certain reasons and the OPTN is to be commended for making it easier for adults in dire medical need to get a lung transplant, even if they were recently added to the transplant waiting list. Therefore transplant lungs are triaged to those adults with the most need. This rule however does not apply to children under 12! Last I checked 12 was still considered a child and minor in this Country, so where this arbitrary age of 12 came from is beyond me. But if a child is 12, he/she is put on the adult transplant list (perhaps the body is more mature and physically can handle an adult lung at 12 and above!). Certainly there are all sorts of ethical, political, and social issues associated with overturning this law for children under 12 years. I get it, but I also get that a parent's responsibility is to do everything possible to save his/her child's life. If that means turning to the media (which I am typically not a fan of!) and starting petitions, then that is what you do!

HHS Secretary Sebelius' Call for Review of Transplant Rules Means Girl Is 'Left to Die,' Family Says:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/family-hhs-sebelius-intervene-10-year-olds-lung/story?id=19309530#.Ua9dkPnD_VJ

Sarah Murnaghan lung transplant case: Sebelius ordered to make exception on transplant:
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/sarah-murnaghan-lung-transplant-ruling-kathleen-sebelius-92299.html?hp=t1_3

PETITION...............OPTN/UNOS: Change Policy to Allow Pediatric Transplants of Adult Lungs Based on Medical Necessity:
http://www.change.org/petitions/optn-unos-change-policy-to-allow-pediatric-transplants-of-adult-lungs-based-on-medical-necessity

June 4, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 -- Mattie died 195 weeks ago today.

Five years ago TODAY this photo was taken. It is hard to imagine how very different life has turn out for Mattie and us. That particular day, Mattie met up with his "girlfriend" Charlotte. We took the children on a canal boat ride, pulled by mules in Georgetown. The children were so happy that school had just let out for the summer and we all thought we had a wonderful few months ahead. But actually only a month later Mattie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.


Quote of the day: When things break, it's not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It's because a little piece gets lost - the two remaining ends couldn't fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed. ~ John Green


My day started with a trip to the doctor's office. This particular doctor I see every three months. Needless to say, I was brought into an exam room and asked to change. An hour later the doctor waltzed in. Through Mattie's illness, I have learned the art of great patience with medical systems. They operate on their own time schedule and pace therefore my frustration or impatience won't move it any faster. Getting to this hospital, which is located in another part of DC, was treacherous! The traffic was out of control and it took me an hour to get from one part of DC to another. Needless to say, I was spoiled for a week in Emerald Isle. I saw NO traffic and NO congestion!

I then drove to Arlington, VA, where our Mattie Miracle post box is located. It was lovely to see that contributions toward the Walk were still coming in, and therefore I can easily state that this was our most successive walk both financially and attendance wise yet! I spent the rest of the day knee deep in post-Walk paperwork. Each registration, donation, and so forth needs to be processed and added to our address and email databases. All of this is very time consuming and I will be at this for days. Fortunately I processed pre-walk donations and all gift in kind donations before the actual walk. Otherwise I would be in total overload right now!!! 


I would like to share more Foundation Walk photos with you tonight! I entitle this photo, "frosted beauties!" These cupcakes were sold at the Walk. They came from Georgetown Cupcake. Marisa and Denise, our bake sale co-chairs, raise money each year prior to our event. With the funds they raise they purchase special products to sell on the day of the Walk. Keep in mind because of the Health Department regulations, we are UNABLE to sell any home made baked items! Marisa and Denise have developed a strategy over the years as to what works and sells, and clearly the strategy worked very well this year! 

Also at the Walk was a special magic show. Thanks to the "Magic Man," Bob Weiman (Mattie's head of the lower school), magic is an important part of each Foundation Walk. Mattie loved magic and he also loved his time with Bob. Bob visited Mattie often, both at home and in the hospital. Bob created a hand designed special magic bag for Mattie and each time they visited with each other, Bob would add an addition trick to the bag. Mattie had quite a repertoire during time in treatment. In fact, during the first Walk that was planned in 2009 by Mattie's care community, Mattie and Bob performed at this event together. Mattie had a great time, but in many ways magic was therapy for Mattie. It brought him out of his shell, it helped him engage with people, and he learned tricks most people did not know how to do. Therefore he felt special, unique, and talented. Not easy things to achieve when stuck in a hospital and feeling isolated from friends and family. At this year's Walk, Bob put together a group of Mattie's friends to perform at the magic show. In a way it was their fifth grade tribute to Mattie. In this photo, you can see Mattie's buddy Abbie performing a trick.  

Just like Abbie, Claire and Charlotte were also in Mattie's kindergarten class. All of whom have graduated from fifth grade and will start middle school in the Fall. Here Claire and Charlotte were performing "Mattie's Trick"..... The peanut butter booger trick! Bob introduced this trick to Mattie in the hospital, and therefore in Bob's mind this is really known as the "Mattie Trick!" It actually involves a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly and of course even mentioning the word "booger" to Mattie sent him right into hysterics!

Though you can't see the  magic show being performed in this photo, what I do love about this picture is the sea of ORANGE items the kids were wearing. Clearly many children walked around the track and earned something orange. You can also see kid tattoos and beautiful headbands (designed by our kid vendor, Ellie) on some of the girls!

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.

June 2, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2003, Mattie was 15 months old. I think this photo is priceless! It was taken at the beach house we rented in the Outer Banks. As you can see Mattie decided to have some quiet time on the couch with a book. Mattie selected his favorite book, Goodnight Moon. We read that book together SO often, that at one time I knew the exact words on each page. I am quite sure Mattie did as well!!!

Quote of the day: If there's a thing I've learned in my life it's to not be afraid of the responsibility that comes with caring for other people. What we do for love: those things endure. Even if the people you do them for don't. ~ Cassandra Clare


We want to thank our readers for checking in with us this week and it is my hope that you enjoyed our photos of Emerald Isle, NC as well as the photos from our 2013 Foundation Walk. I know I enjoyed sharing them with you and seeing them on the blog. Our trip to Emerald Isle was an adventure and now that we are home in DC tonight, we are both in a funk. It was a seven hour drive home and coming back from vacation is never easy. Compounding that, the start of summer is simply depressing to me, so as Peter returns to work tomorrow, I will try to focus upon how to deal with my daily Foundation work at home and feeling isolated from what others around me are doing while their children are home from school.  

I snapped some photos of the art work displayed within our Emerald Isle condo. Some of the pieces made me laugh and others I thought were simply whimsical. This painting is entitled, "Shrimp cocktail." I thought it was adorable and it was displayed in the kitchen.



Now this one I leave up to you. I thought this teapot frog was just adorable, but then again I LOVE tea. Peter did not share my same fascination. This teapot frog happened to be a lamp in the master bedroom.






The master bathroom in the condo was gigantic. But the beauty of it was all its natural light. Rarely did I ever have to turn on the electric lights by day in there. Hanging over the bathtub was this beautiful fish glass chime. It absolutely sparkled when the sun shone through it!














On the walls of the master bathroom were these cute paintings. The second one has a caption that states, "I hope we don't look like tourists!" There were other lovely pieces as well, but these four were noteworthy to me.
 
Last night as we walked the beach, we had this wonderful pelican flyover. I haven't mentioned their presence, but they were all around us this week. I happen to love pelicans. Pelicans prefer warmer beaches so much so that we never saw one while visiting the Bethany, DE shores.










As we walked along the beach, we watched the water, bird traffic, and I also checked out the houses we passed. This one in particular I deemed as my favorite beach house
of the week! If you can't guess why...... it is because of its sun themed wood work at the top!




Before leaving the beach last night, I snapped this last photo!












Peter and I woke up early this morning to finish packing up the condo. The condo was located on the third floor, so carrying everything down three flights of stairs was entertaining. We took this goodbye photo from our deck and were on the road by 9:15am.





This was the view from the causeway as we drove from Emerald Isle onto the mainland. The inlets are simply beautiful and to think only Friday we were kayaking through them!









If you happen to be wondering why Emerald Isle
is called "EMERALD," just look at this photo! It got its name from the lush greenery that is everywhere on this barrier island.


I don't know how it is possible but for the past seven days we have seen nothing but glorious sunshine, clear blue skies, and NO rain. Don't you know as we were an hour out of DC, the greyness in the sky ensued and it also rained. DC never disappoints. We stopped at a restaurant today in NC to break up our trip. The hostess asked us where we were from, and we told her DC. She smiled and told us she visited DC last summer and she found it overwhelming. She said it is hard to go from having so much space and land around you, to a big city. Having experienced NC this week, I totally get her point. DC is an adjustment but the one lovely thing to see when we got home was our garden. Our friend Maria took beautiful care of our green friends and it was lovely to come home to our plants thriving and growing.

I would like to end tonight's posting with some photos of our Raffle which took place at the Foundation Walk. The raffle was a huge success and Peter and I want to truly thank Carolyn, our friend and raffle chair, for assisting us with this large but fruitful endeavor! We featured 12 amazing raffle baskets this year. Each basket at minimum is worth $500.

In this photo you can see our friend Ann with the bullhorn in hand announcing winners. Next to Ann is Carolyn (with the pink flowered headband, which was designed by her daughter who sells her headbands at our walk!). Carolyn was holding one of the raffle ticket boxes and our 12 year old friend Annie was randomly picking the winning ticket for one of the prizes out of the box.

Here is a photo of our lucky Lego Raffle Basket winner!











In this photo our volunteers, Isabel (who is a rising 10th grader and has been instrumental at helping Mattie Miracle with her Girl Scout Troop) and Abbie (Ann's daughter) were handing over the Furry Friends Raffle Basket to the winner!




Here are the proud winners of the Money Tree Raffle Basket.... Marisa and Colton. Marisa just graduated from NYU and when she was in high school she helped me with Mattie when he was home between hospital visits. Each year, no matter where Marisa is, she coordinates and runs our bake sale at the Foundation Walk. This year's Bake Sale
was our most profitable one yet!

I was thrilled that several  moms and children from the CFNC preschool came to the Walk. Our faithful readers may recall that this preschool raised $600 for Mattie Miracle. These moms had a great time doing zumba with us, participating in all our activities, and I am so pleased that one of them won our Spa Raffle Basket!!!


This photo makes me smile. Our friend Dawnee wanted to win the t-shirt quilt raffle basket. She was determined and I think she was stunned when she actually won! Now many of her children's t-shirts will be getting transformed into a cozy keepsake quilt!