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

May 29, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006, during Memorial Day weekend. It was our first weekend trip away with just the three of us. Friends from Mattie's preschool told me about Sesame Street Place in Pennsylvania. Given that Mattie LOVED the TV show, Sesame Street (especially the Elmo character) I had a feeling Mattie would appreciate this theme park geared to preschoolers. Mattie did practically every activity possible that day at the park, from land activities to water ones. We bought him a big Elmo balloon, and then somewhere along the line, a large Elmo character walked up to Mattie and handed him a second balloon for being such a big fan. I remember the park had an amazing Memorial Day parade with several members of the military present. 

Quote of the day: There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens can not cure. Dwight D. Eisenhower

This Memorial Day, may we remember all those who died in active military service. Today, Peter and I walked down to Constitution Avenue to watch Rolling Thunder. Experiencing this in person is unforgettable...... the energy in the air and the reason for the ride, produces a whole lot of cheering but also tears shed by observers.

Rolling Thunder is a United States advocacy group that seeks to bring full accountability for prisoners of war (POWs) and missing in action (MIA) service members of all U.S. wars. The group's first demonstration was in 1988. It was incorporated in 1995, and has more than 90 chapters throughout the US, as well as overseas.

Their main annual event occurs on the Sunday before Memorial Day, in which members make a slow ride on a dedicated, closed off, pre-set route, called Ride to the Wall in Washington D.C., referring to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, also called the Ride for Freedom, which leaves the Pentagon parking lot at noon, crosses the Memorial Bridge, and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Rolling Thunder and its mission began as a demonstration following the era of the Vietnam War, which was a difficult time in our history. Many of America’s military were killed or missing in action (MIA) and their remains were not being returned home or respectfully buried. There were also reports of live prisoners of war (POW) who were left behind when the war ended. In 1987, Vietnam veteran Ray Manzo, bothered by these accounts, came to DC with his idea and enlisted the help of fellow veterans Holland, Sides, and Sampley, to organize a motorcycle demonstration to bring attention to the POW/MIA situation. Choosing Memorial Day weekend for the event, they envisioned the arrival of the motorcycles coming across the Memorial Bridge, and thought it would sound like “Rolling Thunder”. The first Run in 1988, had roughly 2500 motorcycles and riders demanding that the U.S. government account for all POW/MIA’s; it continues to grow every year, becoming the world’s largest single-day motorcycle event. Now with over a million riders and spectators combined, Rolling Thunder has evolved into an emotional display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.

This is the ONLY time of year you can walk down 23rd Street, because it is blocked off to vehicular traffic. 

A solitary Marine holds vigil at full attention during the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in tribute to fallen comrades.

This year, this marine and his new bride stood in place for OVER an hour. In heat and direct sun. I can't tell you how much attention they received from the media (you can see a newscaster interviewing the bride here), from riders, and attendees!
A troop of police start the rally, and just their sheer number causes you to pause and reflect. 
It is estimated that there are one million people (riders and observers) who take part in Rolling Thunder. 
Can you see the marine and his bride? They stood vigil and thousands upon thousands of motorcycles passed them by. 
Several riders stop, salute, or even give flowers to the marine. 
This event is all about remembrance and patriotism. 
This is Constitution Avenue (looking East)! Typically a very busy street to vehicular traffic. 
I love how Peter captured the riders going down Constitution Avenue, and this woman in particular was wearing her stars and stripes. 
A close up of faces coming down 23rd Street. 
Riders were displaying POW/MIA flags, American flags, as well as indicating the branch and division they served in. 
As you can see there were many visuals about prisoners of war. To remember, never forget, and not to rest until these members of the military are brought home. 
There were few cars/trucks in the rally, but this one caught all of our attention. 
Toward the end of the ride, two lanes of rider traffic began coming into the city.
Get a feeling for the number of spectators at the rally?! For the most part people obeyed the police and were courteous to one another. 
Crowds of people everywhere! Not to mention police. 
This lady gave Peter the peace sign as he was photographing her. 

The Rally with the Lincoln Memorial in the background!

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