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

November 6, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tonight's picture was created by Tim Beck, my Facebook friend. I have never met Tim. He lives in New Mexico, but he graciously spends his time helping countless number of parents who lost their children to cancer by creating photo memories. These are all the different compositions Tim has made for us over the years, and he put them together in this wonderful patchwork type quilt. When you look at all 25 of these photos, you are probably saying.... how lovely or how sweet these look. I say the same thing, except for me these are snapshots in time. A time that was once very real, and I can recall each of the moments and contexts behind each of these photos. For me they aren't only a lovely display, they are a visual and bittersweet reminder of what my life used to look like. 


Quote of the day: The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. William Arthur Ward


About a month ago, I researched pet therapy certification programs, because I truly believe Sunny has the disposition to work with children who are hospitalized. I would love to bring him to Georgetown University Hospital. So I asked the child life staff there, which therapy program they work with. They told me.... National Capital Therapy Dogs (NCTD; 
http://www.nctdinc.org/volunteers.php). There are many different programs in the DC area that allow you and your dog to do pet therapy. However, there are different requirements and also different levels of rigor for each program. NCTD seems to be the most stringent, because step 1 requires that Sunny pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test. Then step two requires a six week training class, evaluation, and a test followed by hands on skills training. The training involves 50-100 visits to a hospital with a volunteer mentor. 

As for step 1, the Canine Good Citizen test is offered by a different organization (NATURALLY!!!), the Capitol Dog Training Center. Sunny is scheduled for his test on December 4, but the training center offers a prep class to pass the test. So I enrolled Sunny and I into this four week prep class. Considering I have never taken an obedience class with a dog, nor do I know if Sunny has had official training, I figured such a class was necessary. 

The American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. In CGC, dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title. Dogs with the CGC title have the suffix, "CGC" after their names.The CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

We took Sunny to his first prep class today. Have you ever experienced meeting a teacher for the first time, and saying to yourself...... this isn't going to work?! This was the reaction both Peter and I had with the dog trainer today. Within minutes of her speaking, what jumped out at you was  that she is judgmental, rigid, and stressful! There are seven other dogs in the class, besides Sunny, and I would say the teacher set each of these dogs off at any point within the 50 minute session. Fortunately this is just a four week course. But honestly her teaching skills are poor and if Sunny passes the test in December, it will be strictly due to him and not her teaching abilities. 


Meanwhile this is what has been happening at my friend, Ann's house. This is her dining room table, which has been converted to a candy sorting station for the next few weeks. In fact, I would say Ann probably has over 600 pounds of candy right now at her house. She is kind enough to allow me to use her home as our main candy drive drop off site!
We are grateful to supporters for donating 2 gallon sized ziploc bags and plastic storage bins. Since we need bags and bins when we make our site donations. 
Ann's empty bowls are NOT empty anymore. The picture above was the before photo, and this is what it will look like for quite some time, until we process thousands and thousands of pounds of candy. 

All of this candy may sound nice, but in such bulk it is down right nauseating! You can even smell it through ziplocs and plastic bins!

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