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

August 24, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 -- Mattie died 362 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2004. We took Mattie to another favorite place that he liked to visit.... Travel Town. Travel Town is located in Griffith Park, in Burbank, CA. The beauty of this park is it is a museum that has historic trains of the West. Yet it is a very child friendly museum because kids can walk the tracks, climb on the trains, ring the bells, and so forth. This was right up Mattie's alley since he loved trains.

Quote of the day: No great thing is created suddenly. ~ Epictetus

We drove today to Santa Ana, to see an exhibit at the Bowers Museum. A museum we have never visited before. In theory it should take under an hour to get to the museum, however, with traffic it took about 90 minutes each way. But the drive to the museum was a total adventure. I plugged in the address to our GPS, but given the fact that we were directed onto six different freeways along the journey, I was  worried and concluded that something was wrong. It definitely looked wrong. So I had my mom call Peter..... all the way in DC to help us. I am sure that sounds hysterical to most people, but Peter is VERY used to my "I'm lost" phone calls over the years, that it probably doesn't faze him anymore. In any case, within minutes Peter deduced where we were, and told us that we were on the right track and almost there. We concluded that the GPS rerouted us to avoid traffic on the main freeway, however, I can assure you that when we saw the museum and got out of the car, it felt like we won the lottery. If you haven't driven freeways in Southern California, then it is hard to describe. But they are six lanes typically and traffic moves FAST. You have to have your wits about you and know where you are going, because there is no wiggly room to make decisions.

A photo of my parents outside the entrance to the Bowers Museum!

"Mummies of the World" highlight the stories of the people behind the mummies through scientific methods used to study mummies, including Computed Tomography (CT), ancient DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating, all of which allow researchers to learn about the lives, history, and cultures of the mummies. Who were they? Where did they come from? And what can they teach us?

Mummies of the World portrays a once-in-a-lifetime collection of real mummies and artifacts from across the globe. This compelling collection, presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient mummies dating back as far as 4,500 years. A fascinating mix of old and new, this captivating collection bridges the gap between past and present with contributions from 10 world-renowned Institutions and two private collectors.

Security detail when the mummies were transported to the Bowers Museum.

Because of the nature of this exhibit, each of the rooms was dark and quiet. Not unlike entering a church, or a library. People were quiet and reserved. After all we were reminded that the objects on display were REAL PEOPLE, who had REAL LIVES. When you go to a cemetery, you aren't running around and conversing. Well the same behavior occurs at this exhibit!

For the most part, people were quiet and on good behavior. But there was a somber feeling about walking through these catacomb like rooms. The Museum personnel reminded attendees that when they produced this exhibition, they were very careful to be very respectful and deferential to the cultures in which these mummies (and) artifacts originate.

One that stands (or lies) apart from the rest is MUMAB. His name stands for Mummy of the University of Maryland at Baltimore and he’s only been a mummy for 22 years.

In 1994, two researchers, Egyptologist Bob Brier and anatomist Ronn Wade, recreated ancient Egyptian mummification techniques at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to preserve the remains of a man who donated his body to science.

They made replicas of ancient tools and even gathered key ingredients from Egypt to make the process as close as possible to original practice.
Did ancient Egyptians drain blood from the bodies? Brier has studied many Egyptian mummies but hasn’t seen major incisions over arteries that would be used to drain the blood. What about the brain? Any kid can tell you ancient Egyptians used a hook to pull it through the nose, but Brier and Wade found out how it was likely done. “I realized the only way I’m going to answer these questions is I’m going to mummify a cadaver in the ancient way.” The ancient Egyptians never recorded the details of the process, Brier said. “That was kind of a trade secret.”

The process of mummification took about a day, but the legwork took a year. Brier traveled to Egypt for 600 pounds of natron from Wadi Natrun, the same place ancient Egyptians got their natron to preserve bodies. Natron is a naturally occuring compound of what we know as table salt and baking soda. Getting untreated linen, used to wrap the body, in today’s markets was a challenge, but Brier found some in Ireland. As for the draining of the blood, Brier said he and Wade opted not to do that. Instead, putting the body in natron was enough to dry it out, and shrink its weight from 180 pounds to 35.

Johannes Vac, from Hungary. Thought to have died at age one from Tuberculosis.  Because infectious diseases may evolve over time, scientists do not know whether strains of tuberculosis or TB from the past (including those appearing in Europe when it was most deadly) are related to the strains we see today. A new study suggests mixed and therefore more dangerous infections may have been common during a time when TB was near peak prevalence in Europe. Mummified bodies found in an 18th century crypt in Hungary yielded 14 separate genomic sequences of M. tuberculosis. By studying mummies, scientists can study tuberculosis in more depth and also understand if some people were immune to developing tuberculosis, and if so, whether such a gene can be scientifically engineered.

Also in this exhibit were accounts of children being sacrificed in the name of their religion. I try not to put my lens on this, but the senseless death of a child, was heard to swallow. In any case, under biochemical analysis, the children's hair yield a record of what they ate and drank during the last two years of their lives. This evidence seems to support historical accounts of a few selected children taking part in a year of sacred ceremonies—marked in their hair by changes in food, coca, and alcohol consumption—that would ultimately lead to their sacrifice. In Inca religious ideology, coca and alcohol could induce altered states associated with the sacred. But the substances likely played a more pragmatic role as well, disorienting and sedating the young victims on the high mountainside to make them more accepting of their own grim fates.

An Egyptian priest named Nes-Hor, who was determined to have arthritis and a broken left hip. 
A beloved cat, mummified to accompany his owner to the next world. The process used on people was just as meticulous for pets.

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