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

December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 -- Mattie died 377 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2003. Mattie was about a year and a half old and as you can see he was sitting in the tub fully clothed and with no water. What do you think he was doing? You may think he was playing but that wasn't the reason he was in the tub. 

Until Mattie learned to talk (which happened maybe at 2.5 years...he was a late talker) he would have emotional tirades. They were much more volatile than a tantrum, and he had many of them in one day. They were exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating to a new mom. It also involved biting! If the melt down was so significant, I would lift Mattie into the tub to distract and change his point of view. I never left the bathroom, but there was no talking involved. I would observe Mattie to make sure he wasn't hurting himself, and what always was the by-product of this tub time was Mattie would begin playing with all the toys around the tub. He would calm down on his own, and then we could talk about what happened. I learned that confining him to the tub somehow was like a reset button, because there wasn't other stimulus around and he could work out his frustration.  


Quote of the day: Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards. Vladimir Nabokov


Today's weather was absolutely awful! I am NOT a rain person by any stretch of the imagination, but it is much worse when you are a dog owner and you have to walk outside in the rain! It was non-stop today and it never let up. Sunny and I managed to walk four miles today in this, and though he wasn't bothered in the least, I hated it. I still feel soaked to the bone. For Sunny it was business as usual, which is just fascinating to me. 

Tomorrow, I am heading back to Mattie's school to talk to the same technology class that I met with last Wednesday. Last Wednesday, I introduced the class to a parent and childhood cancer survivor. Tomorrow, I am scheduled to talk about Mattie, his cancer battle, and the Foundation. In addition, this class is working on a 3-D model of an MRI machine for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The class wants to talk about their project, where they are at with it, and to get my feedback. Having survived MULTIPLE MRIs with Mattie, I definitely know the extreme anxious reaction children can have to these scans. There is a lot to be said to preparing children for what is about to happen and also I can't emphasize this enough.... but a patient, calm, and child friendly tech can make all the difference in the world. So the 3D model has great potential for helping to explain the process to children before they endure a scan. 

This is Jey! Jey first met Mattie by a CT scan machine. Mattie was scared to death, hid under the machine and was crying hysterically! The other techs couldn't understand Mattie's reaction and some of them even labeled him as difficult. Jey was different. He observed Mattie and made an effort to get to know him. In fact, Jey became one of Mattie's fiercest advocates during his 14 months of treatment. Jey worked with Mattie's child life specialist and he even talked to the other techs to let them know their quick judgment of Mattie was wrong. Jey visited us on the pediatric floor with every hospital admission and on the day that Mattie died, he insisted that no one else could take his "little brother" (his nick name for Mattie) to the hospital morgue. Jey transported Mattie himself. 

It is Jey and so many of Mattie's caregivers who helped Peter and I see that cancer treatment is NOT just about the medicine. In fact, as the years go by since Mattie's death, the medicine goes out of my head, but how personnel treated Mattie and us.... is never forgotten. I believe one of the reasons we are financial donors to Georgetown University Hospital is because of the quality and character of the people working there and the way they connected with us. Certainly we needed the medicine, but it how you survive day to day with cancer that is the most complex! This is where psychosocial professionals and compassionate personnel come into play and make a true measurable difference. 

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