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: 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

February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in February of 2006. Mattie was in our living room and doing what he does best.... constructing!!! Mattie designed this labyrinth and within it he placed himself. The many antics of Mattie, and rest assured he always brought me into his play schemes. 

Quote of the day: Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~ Leo Buscaglia

I LOVE this Buscaglia quote. It is SO true!!! I had what I would call an unpleasant test today..... it was called an EMG, or Electromyography. I was administered this test because of the tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness in my left arm and leg. An issue that I have had for over three weeks. Thankfully my neurology office prepared me for this test and my dear friend Mary Ann warned me. Because you really shouldn't go into this test COLD without mental preparation. Why? Well the first 45 minutes of the test involves receiving electrical shocks up and down your arms and legs and then the next 45 minutes includes needles placed into your muscles to record activity. It isn't exactly comfortable.  

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG translates these signals into graphs, sounds or numerical values that a specialist interprets. An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to transmit or detect electrical signals. During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted directly into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle. A nerve conduction study, another part of an EMG, uses electrodes taped to the skin (surface electrodes) to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling between two or more points. EMG results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.

Overall these two tests could have been a nightmare. But they weren't. They weren't because of the two people who administered them. The nerve conduction study, with the electrodes was administered by a tech. She was fantastic and explained everything she was doing before doing it. She even prepared me for what an electrical shock would feel like, and she was accurate. The second part of the test with the needle placements was done by a neurologist. Not my neurologist, but his colleague. Dr. Cohen was an absolute peach. A true extrovert..... bright, a good listener, and communicator. We hit it off immediately. Being in a room for 45 minutes getting needles stuck in you isn't great, but he chatted with me the whole time. He first asked what I do. So I told him that I once was an educator but now I run a childhood cancer nonprofit. He could have let it go at that, but he didn't. He asked me why I decided to do that, and I told him about Mattie. I then discussed with him a word most doctors flinch at.... psychosocial care and how this is our mission. He then told me that psychosocial support is crucial in the medical field and that data shows that the medicine is more effective when you care for the whole person. I almost fell off the table. He is a rare breed, but based on how he was talking, I suspected he helped a family member with cancer. So I asked!!!

I was correct, both of his parents are cancer survivors and he explained to me how this impacted his life. So he said he couldn't imagine how losing Mattie affected me. He later shared his own physical health issue with me and how this impacted his life and how it makes him a better doctor. I CAN SEE that, because I want to clone him! But what he said to me next resonated with me and it has stuck with me the whole day. He said that he always worries about getting profoundly ill! This man was speaking my language, because I have the same fear and anxiety. So we talked about that today. He didn't make me feel crazy in any sense, but normalized my feelings. I need more medical professionals in my life that get that I am a bi-product of trauma and as such when I get ill, and the illness is prolonged I developed an inordinate amount of anxiety. I felt heard, understood, and for me NORMAL today. It turned my mind set around. 

I am happy to report that these tests are normal and I have no nerve or muscle damage, so we can take those issues off the table. I still may have other symptoms, and the tests weren't pleasant, but it does go to show you that how physicians make you feel can truly impact our medical health. 

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