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

July 6, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2004. I remember capturing this photo of Mattie. We were playing with his "Mr. Potato Head" toy and in Mattie's usual fashion he decided to be different. So he put on Mr. Potato Head's glasses. Upside down NO LESS! We would occasionally do spoofy things like this together and get a good old laugh at of it! Sometimes we did things like this just to see how funny the other thought it was. 

Quote of the day: Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. ~ Karl A. Menniger

The art of listening to what someone is saying is not exactly easy. It isn't easy because sometimes when in a crisis you are not even sure how to communicate your needs fully. You are not sure people will be listening, whether it is worth expending the energy to convey how you are feeling and then you think.... what is the point? Only you are going through this crisis and therefore shutting out others may appear to be a viable option.

Last night I received a blog posting written by a young adult who has been quite ill for several months. It isn't my story, so I don't plan on discussing it. But the reason I am mentioning this is because as I read her words, I understood how confused, frustrated, helpless and hopeless she was feeling because to date there have been NO medical answers or explanations. I know full well that most doctors really practice medicine as a reaction to data. What do the scans say? What are the blood results? In absence of hard facts, guess what? Medicine is at a loss, despite the fact that patients may still be quite ill. Naturally I feel for the mom of this girl because I know how difficult it is to be a caregiver to a child who isn't getting better but seems to be transforming right before your eyes. 

Because this family is friends of ours and on the blog the young lady encourages help, answers, and to share her writings, I did JUST that. When I have issues that come up that appear cancer related, I immediately text message Aziza Shad. Aziza used to be the director of the pediatric oncology program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Now she is the chief of pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore, MD. Though Aziza wasn't Mattie's oncologist, she did work with us on occasion and was the attending physician who was on call during Mattie's death. What makes Aziza so unusual is not just her competence, but it is her competence mixed with compassion. If you are her patient, you can literally text message her at ANY hour of day or night and she returns in within minutes. She doesn't even have to be in the US, she can be abroad, and you get the same response time. Amazing, NO?!

Any case, I wrote to Aziza about this young girl, shared the blog with her, and this morning within an hour's time, I connected her to the girl's mom and they have an appointment together in a week or so. Not that this will solve this young girl's problems, but I know first hand how crucial it is to have someone to confide in, someone who is willing to acknowledge that there is a real problem and someone who is willing to search for medical answers and a solution. So what I am saying is the art of medicine SHOULD involve LISTENING!!!! Somehow that skill got pushed to the back of the line in medical school and in practice. But I suspect if MORE listening was being done, patient needs and issues would get resolved much quicker. 

This evening Peter and I await the person from the pet adoption agency who will be inspecting our home. If we don't meet inspection (and I have NO idea what the criteria for this is), then we don't get Indie the cat or Sunny the dog. Signing off for today, but I will fill you in on this tomorrow. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

I feel certain your home inspection went well. However, like you, I don't know criteria, But I do know you so my assumption is based on this fact. Just as you are certain Dr. Shad will do all she can for the young woman in search of medical help.
Listening seems like such an easy thing to do. It does though, escape many Drs. There are several Dr. Shad's but many Physicians are driven by lab, scan, other test results, ignoring the words of the person who is having all the tests. It is sad & frustrating to think of someone being shuttled from one specialist to another in search of answers because enough listening hasn't occurred.
The medical community is in dire need of more Physicians who come into an exam room, sit on the stool and put their listening ears on instead of their computer.
The picture of Mattie is adorable. He looks serious too with those glasses upside down. His charm fills an entire picture just with Mattie. I can get absorbed just by photos, you post, they all tell their own story.