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: 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

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

May 1, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. We took Mattie to Andrews Air Force Base that weekend for their annual air show. Mattie ranged from scared to intrigued. He loved the planes and exploring them but the sounds, noise, and commotion were overwhelming at times for him. Though I personally will never forget the Thunderbird airshow. I had never seen anything like it ever! Mattie jumped into this plane, which to me looked like a helicopter, and took the controls. He was very serious about it, focused, and was taking direction from Peter by his side. 



Quote of the day: Loved. You can't use it in the past tense. Death does not stop that love at all. ~ Unknown


I began my day by driving to Suitland Federal Center, or basically the base where the US Census Bureau is located in Washington, DC. Why? Because their child daycare center was collecting toiletries for our Foundation's item drive. Ironically they weren't familiar with where I am located and I am not that familiar with where they are located. Thankfully though I had done a candy drop off this past November in a nearby location, so I had half a chance at finding this place this morning. Also GPS on my phone helped. Though I have to admit I can't always understand the GPS' directions! I must be the only one who can't follow GPS! She tells you to turn or go East or West! All I know is if I knew which direction was East or West was, I wouldn't need her assistance in the first place!

Visiting the US Census Bureau is like going to Fort Knox. Between guards, security checks points and so forth, it took me 20 minutes to get onto the campus! However, I got on and did pick up the last bunch of items for the drive.

Picking up items all over town isn't the only thing I do for the drive. Every item has to be sorted and hand inspected. Some people donate half used items unfortunately. I am sure with the best of intentions. But in my opinion bringing something to a hospital is a little different than bringing something to Goodwill. Not only is hygiene a factor, but also what concerns me is the perception. Families are isolated, alone, and working around the clock caring for a child. Receiving a half used item can be interpreted as being insensitive and uncaring. Therefore, I always make sure such items are removed. 

As of tonight, the item drive is officially closed and this completes our fourth drive in honor of Mattie's 13th birthday.  

Here is the photo I took today of all the items! In addition to toiletries, you will notice a couch full of Keurig cups, for a coffee maker. These cups are VERY SOUGHT after at Georgetown University Hospital and will be greatly appreciated by inpatient families.  

For everyone who contributed to our drive.... A BIG THANK YOU!

April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. That Memorial Day weekend we took Mattie to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. This was Mattie's first real experience with a water park. He loved Sesame Street and its characters, so when I heard the moms at Mattie's preschool talking about it, I felt that this was something he too would like to explore. Mattie was in LOVE with Elmo back then and as you can see we left the park that day with TWO Elmo balloons. One we bought for him and the other was given to him by Elmo himself. Sesame Place made an impression on all of us that day, because they had a wonderful Memorial Day parade filled with people from the armed forces. It was a very patriotic moment for reflection, and literally the park had something for everyone. 


Quote of the day: Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action. Lowell


I would have to say today was a lost day. I do not even know where the day went. I began it with a Walk t-shirt issue. Weeks ago Peter and I selected a new color for the Walk t-shirt this year. We usually have white shirts, but this year we wanted something vibrant and different. Especially since we are having our $5,000 corporate sponsor on the back of the shirt. This is a first for us! We selected this wonderful honey orange color for the shirt and even altered our logo to work on this color, since our logo has a ton of orange in it, we did not want it to get lost on the shirt. However, when placing the order yesterday we learned that this honey color doesn't come in children's sizes. That was a big miss on the part of the manufacturer when we first placed a call to have sample colors sent to us weeks ago. So now we are left to start again to find another color palette that will work for us. I am less than happy about this given the amount of time and energy I have already placed into this honey orange t-shirt design. But I have no choice but to regroup and do it quickly with our t-shirt vendor. 

Meanwhile here is an update on our totals as of today:

Funds Raised so Far: $41,306
Walk Teams in total have raised: $9,361
The on-line Raffle has generated: $1090


My good friend Mary Ann sent me a few photos today of spring in her neighborhood. Two of which absolutely intrigued me. There is something about this red geranium sitting on a bird bath that captures my attention. Red in a sea of green! It is striking!






I just love how the reds pop out and I also love the Great Blue Heron metal statue in the garden. In all reality when I think of our winter, it is hard to believe that anything is growing, is green, and has returned to life. I suppose it gives us all hope. 

April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2002. Mattie was a month old. If I could have entitled this photo, I would have called it.... "can you hear what I hear?" Mattie was tracking my every move and was particularly interested in the camera or at least trying to understand what I was doing aiming something at him. He was turning his head as to try to focus upon the object in front of him and make sense out of it. Meanwhile I had been snapping photos for days, trying to capture the perfect baby photo to add to a birth announcement. You should see the series of photos that I accumulated. Some of them were a riot. 


Quote of the day: I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.Edward Everett Hale


There were three wonderful highlights to my day. I received this glorious dogwood photo from my good friend Mary Ann. I appreciate your photos as she knows for the most part I am glued to the computer planning the Walk, and somehow I feel like I am missing spring. So Mary Ann is helping me have a virtual spring. 




Meanwhile, the painters came to transform our deck today. It is too bad I did not take a before shot for a comparison. But it was a mess. Paint was chipped, peeling, and completely discolored. This is a wonderful gift because they give us their services without expecting compensation. A rather unheard of philosophy these days!











The last gift which came to me at the end of the day was a visit from my friend Carolyn and her daughter, Ellie. Ellie and Mattie went to preschool together and many of my blog readers know Carolyn as our Foundation's raffle chair. Carolyn came to remove all of the raffle baskets from my home. Which is a huge relief because they take up space and between them and the items from the toiletry drive, Mattie's room looked like a warehouse. But in addition to Carolyn giving me back my space, she also brought me these glorious orange Gerber Daisies and a home cooked dinner. Plus a bag of a my favorite chocolates. A rather amazing visit, no?!

For one moment in time, it was very reminiscent of my days in the hospital. Because this is exactly what Carolyn did back then too. She would bring me dinner and when I was home, also gave me flowers. Sunflowers! I am not an easy person to take care of, because typically I am the one doing the caring, but I have to say I greatly appreciate all this kindness tonight and the thoughtfulness behind the gifts. Feeling appreciated, that what I do matters and is valued and recognized means a lot, especially when I spend countless hours by a computer without much external feedback or validation. 

April 28, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 -- Mattie died 294 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2002. Mattie was one month old and as you can see this was one of his very calm moments. I am happy I took a photo of such a moment, because we really did not have many of them. From an early age Mattie rarely napped. If ever. Sleep did not come naturally to Mattie, which was such an unusual concept to me. I had no idea that some babies had to be taught how to fall asleep on their own without a lot of assistance. However, after eight months without consistent sleep, I finally read Richard Ferber's method on teaching a baby to sleep. Despite my fears of trying it, once I understood the method I have to say it worked beautifully and it brought harmony back into our home. Since we all needed sleep to function.  


Quote of the day: No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. Calvin Coolidge


I am happy to report that as of now, our walk teams have raised in total, $6810. Our top three adult walk teams (including online and offline donations) are as follows:
1st place--RCC Moms Rock ($1,856)
2nd place--Blessed Sacrament Bullfrogs ($1,362)
3rd place--The Book Club ($1,268)
The top teen walk team is: Team Heart thanks to Haley Leis!

Thanks to our community donors, we are able to provide some wonderful prizes to our top fundraisers!!! Such as:

Adult Top Fundraiser (funds raised by May 16, 2015) Prizes:

$200 gift card to Clyde's Restaurant
Therapeutic Massage at The Boutique Spa, Ritz-Carlton-Georgetown
Four Grandstand Tickets to a Potomac Nationals Game
Featured in Mattie Miracle Newsletter and on Facebook


Child/Teen Top Fundraiser (funds raised by May 16, 2015) Prizes:

One week Summer Camp Experience at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School
Ultrazone Laser Tag Party for 10 people
Flight Trampoline Park - 4 (one hour) passes
Featured in Mattie Miracle Newsletter and on Facebook

April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. I caught Mattie in action. He wasn't expecting me to capture him on camera sneaking into my laundry cart! But on laundry day, Mattie would find some clever way to ride down the elevator with me to the machines in our building. If it wasn't actually in the cart, then he would be on his bicycle or he had something else in tow with us. I had to make it interesting because doing laundry is anything but FUN and entertaining! It is tedious and boring, yet it is a chore that has to get done. From an early age Mattie became a part of our daily routine and at first I had to get used to doing everything with my side kick. Then after Mattie died, I had to readjust and learn to do everything alone again. 


Quote of the day: The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions. ~ Donald Calne


Peter sent me this wonderful photo today of "Mr. Mallard" that he snapped on his way to work! It is a rather symbolic image since as Peter migrates passed this location in the morning, he tends to reflect upon Mattie. So to me it is a sign from Mattie to him! Mattie loved ducks and in fact at my baby shower the theme was ducks. I do not think it was a coincidence that in the middle of the city, on the campus of the George Washington University, Peter would just happen to find a mallard sitting there. This mallard was meant to be seen by Peter! 






I spent a good portion of my day working on raffle placards. Mattie's bedroom, which serves as my office, is turning into a warehouse. I have raffle items in there as well as toiletry items from our April item drive. Fortunately I have almost received all of those collections now and hopefully will be able to deliver these items to the Hospital next week! 


Isn't this photo glorious?! It was sent to me by my good friend Mary Ann! The colors of spring in DC are simply wonderful and it almost makes up for the horrible winter we had. 











The highlight of my day has to do with my virtual angel. That is the name I have given to my friend Maria. Maria is not only a major contributor of the Foundation, but is a faithful blog reader. She read the other day on the blog that I am overwhelmed with work and that I need an elf or a fairy godmother to help me paint my deck. I honestly did not expect anyone to respond to my plea. But while working this morning, I could see our complex's painters coming onto my deck. So from my second story window, I opened it up to chat with them. They told me that Maria sent them over and that they would be happy to paint my deck. Music to my ears because I honestly had no idea when Peter and I would do this. Especially since we are losing a weekend in May to present at a conference in NYC! I know some people may be jumping for joy over winning the lottery, and of course that would be nice. But to me this is just as great and far more meaningful. It is meaningful because someone thought about me, wants to make my life easier, is saying that she really values what I do everyday and in a way wants to give me a gift to know that something I love (my outdoor space) is being taken care of! Maria made my day and perhaps my week.   

April 26, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. Mattie used to like going to one particular grocery store with us because at this store they gave children free sugar cookies and balloons. Since Mattie HATED chocolate, he truly appreciated the sugar cookies. He felt that someone understood his needs and tastes! He was really funny on that front. As you can see Mattie loved balloons and he would carry them around with him throughout the day. It did not matter how often he got a balloon. To him they were all special and he loved receiving one!




Quote of the day: The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~ Vidal Sassoon


We worked on taking some photos of the 8 raffle baskets
that I wrapped for the Foundation this weekend. This is what they look like together and below is a listing of what is in each basket. The baskets are quite special this year and we are trying to spread the word that our on-line raffle is open and we are encouraging people to purchase tickets to support the Foundation. Proceeds from the raffle go toward our $60,000 Walk goal. All Walk funds go to supporting our psychosocial programs on the local and national levels. To purchase raffle tickets, please visit:
http://www.mmcfwalk.myevent.com/3/miscellaneous2.htm


Washington National Tickets

The basket contains:

1) 4 Diamond Level Seats to the Nats vs Rockies on August 9th @ 1:35pm (includes food & beverages, access to the PNC Diamond Club, and a parking pass)
2) Nats backsack, wallet, umbrella, small basketball hoop
Car magnets, Nats snap cup holder, Nats iPhone 5 case
3) Nats pennant and sign
4) Nats softee bat and ball
5) 2 Nats baseball hats
6) Nats beach towel and storage cube








Dining Around Town

The basket contains:


$25 California Pizza Kitchen Gift Card
$50 Cheesecake Factory Gift Card
$100 Clyde's Gift Certificate
$50 Del Ray Cafe Gift Certificate
$25 Great American Restaurants Gfit Card
$100 La Bergerie Gift Certificate
$50 Morton's Gift Card
Panera Bread for a year (one loaf a month)
$25 P.F. Chang's Gift Card
$50 Tempo Gift Certificate
Gurgling Cod Jug
Silicone Cooking Utensils






Washington Capitals Fan Pack

The basket contains:


1) 2 Club Seats for the 2015-2016 Season
2) Caps earphones
3) car magnets, lanyard, caps backsack, gloves, wallet, small basketball hoop set
4) Matt Niskanen Framed/Autographed Washington Capitals 40th Anniv Picture
5) Capitals storage cube











DC and the Arts

The basket contains:


1) Abbi Custis Original Oil Painting of Washington, DC ... "DC Runs II"(40x16")
2) Celtic Woman, June 20, 2015 @7:30pm --Wolf Trap for the Performing Arts, Seats in the amphitheater (Loge)
3) 6 tickets to the Kreeger Museum, Washington, DC
4) Tea for two at the Ritz-Carlton (Tysons Corner, VA)
5) Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Recyclable bag, Cherry Blossom Festival ball cap, I Love DC Lanyard, DC magnet, Cherry Blossom Festival t-shirt (large)
6) 2 (8x10") canvases for painting
palette and knife set for painting 
7) 15 piece paint brush set and 12 oil paint set
8) pipe cleaners, crayons, origami paper, stickers, and glow sticks 
9) rainbow loom 
10) two flower nail files and nail polish



Wine of the Month

The basket contains

1) silver wine bucket, two wine glasses, wine opener, wine and champagne saver, three decorative wine bottle stoppers
2) Wine themed cutting board, Whale cheese cutting board and knife
3) wine gift canister
4) aerating pouer, wine themed kitchen towel, coasters
5) Wine Spectator
6) 5x7" wooden sign: "Friends like wine get better with age"


The wines that come with the package.................




January
2012 Blanc de Blancs, Schramsberg, Calistoga, Napa Valley, USA.
The perfect sparkling wine to toast in the New Year!

February
2013 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Honig – Napa Valley, USA.
A sweet blend to complement your Valentine’s chocolates.

March
2012 Bandol Rouge Domaine Tempier
To complement your grilled lamb (with a touch of rosemary) or duck for an Easter celebration.

April
2013 Dry Gewurztraminer, Navarro Vineyards, Anderson Valley, California, USA.
Spice up your spring with this dry white and your favorite Curry dish.

May
2013 Muller Thurgau “Sass Rigas” Manni Nossing, Alto Adagio, Italy. 
A special treat for Mom – along with her favorite roasted fish dish.

June
2013 Sylvaner, Domain Ostertag, Les Vieilles Vignes, Alsace, France.
Dad’s favorite seared scallops and vegetable dish will make this white shine.

July
2012 Angels’ Share, Shiraz, Two Hands – McLaren Valley, Australia.
Add this red to your 4th of July - Red, White & Blue Bar-B-Q.

August
2013 Vermentinu, Domain d’E Croce (Yves Leccia) , Corsica, France.
A crisp white to complement your summer seafood celebration.

September
2004 Grand Reserve Xinomavro, Naousa, Naoussa , Greece.
End of summer vegetarian dishes are perfect with this greek red.

October
2012 Vacqueyras “Cuvee Azalas” Domaine Le Sang Des Cailloux
Made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre and 3% Cinsault, a winner with your fall Venison or fresh Salmon catch.

November
2010 Coscha Rioja, Valsacro, Denominacion do Origen Calaficada, Spain.
Your Thanksgiving turkey will be even more savory with a sip of this rioja.

December
2011 Chinon “Les Varennes du Grand Clos” Charles Joguet

Pair with a hearty stew for an early winter storm.



Apple iPad Air

The basket contains:

iPad Air (16GB)
Maxwell headphones with mic
Green iPhone 6 case
glow in the dark stereo earbuds
iPad Air protective case
car adapter
6x6" wooden sign: "The best is yet to come"










Money Tree

The basket contains:


$50 Amazon Gift Card
$25 AMC Theatres Gift Card
$25 Barnes & Nobles Gift Card
$50 Express Gift Card
$25 LL Bean Gift Card
$50 Macys Gift Card
$25 Pandora Jewelry Gift Card
$50 Shell Gas Card
$25 Starbucks Gift Card
$25 Target Gift Card