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

January 20, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in January of 2008. This was literally seven months before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. Who would have ever known from this photo that anything was wrong with Mattie, doesn't he look like the picture of health? That weekend we took Mattie for a walk, as he loved outdoor time and nature walks. As you can see he found a stick along his journey. Mattie had an extensive stick collection in our commons area. With each walk, Mattie usually found something from nature that he wanted to take home as a reminder of his adventures. Where Mattie would pile these sticks near our home is now our Mattie memorial garden. 

Quote of the day: Work is love made visible. ~ Kahlil Gibran

There is a great deal of truth in tonight's quote. When I wonder why I work around the clock, it isn't because I love to work! It is what the work symbolizes and is about. My work for the Foundation is a labor of love, and a tribute to my connection, love, and memory of Mattie. So indeed Gibran is correct, work is love! However, I have to say I am ready for the Roundtable to be over. The planning is an absolute killer, but I do not like Foundation events to look poorly, because I feel they are a reflection of Mattie. So I spend a lot of time working through details. 

I took Sunny out for a walk today and I was thrilled to get back inside. I just felt a combination of desolation (because of street closures, blockades, etc) and also uneasiness in the city. There is a ton of security and also a fair amount of protesters that make me uncomfortable in my own neighborhood. So in essence we are in a lock down status at home until Sunday. 

Pictured from left to right are: my mom, my cousin Clara, me, and my grandmother

It is hard to imagine that 23 years ago today my maternal grandmother died. In a way it doesn't seem that long ago. She was a special lady and we had a very close relationship, as I also called her "mom." My grandmother lived with my parents ever since I was born, so I never knew anything but an inter-generational family. I learned a lot from my grandmother and it is a shame she never met Mattie. 

This was a photo of my family at New Year's in 1989. My grandmother was truly versatile. She could cook, work hard, but also enjoyed going out, watching people, and experiencing new adventures. I will never forget the day she died, because I was living in Boston at the time and going to graduate school. That morning, I woke up from a dream to a phone call. The call was from my mom telling me my grandmother died. But in a way I knew that already. In my dream, my grandmother was handing me a bunch of red roses. When I went to grab them, all the petals fell off and the flowers died. When I came to consciousness from that dream and heard the phone ring, I knew already what had happened. 

My grandmother suffered a massive stroke when I was in graduate school. She was left paralyzed on one side, unable to swallow, to read, to concentrate, and had an altered personality. She lived with this condition for three years and my mom was her primary caregiver, first at home and then in a facility. The only reason my mom moved my grandmother into a facility, was because she became deathly ill from caregiving after one intense year of support. I recall speaking to an ICU nurse caring for me, who told me my mom had pneumonia which turned into sepsis and she was dying. Frightening news to receive when across the Country. Thankfully my mom was treated aggressively and did recover but her recovery took over a year. In any case, my grandmother's illness was so devastating for our family that when I entered my counseling doctoral program I decided my area of research interest would be caregivers of older adult family members. Who knew years later that I would have another experience with caregiving..... caring for Mattie battling cancer. Though caring for an older adult is different than a child with cancer, there are enormous similarities and I would say the impact on one's physical and emotional health have great overlaps. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, When I miss a night of reading a blog, I always read from the latest one to the rest. Tonight it was just two, tonight's and yesterday.
Little did I know that last night, you mentioned and used a quote to reference that all your work is a labor of love for Mattie.

I looked at the picture of Mattie from last night with his giant Scooby Doo & then at the picture of Mattie, months before his diagnosis. In the picture with Peter, there is no sign that anything was going on in Mattie's body that would lead to his horrific diagnosis. Cancer is sneaky in such a deceptive way. Through the years of working, I would say good bye, see you tomorrow, to a child in treatment, that yes was very sick but in no way did I think I would never see them again. Yet on several occasions, a Dr. would be waiting until I came that next morning, take me into an office to tell me, the child had died in the night. It was always a shock . With each death, I made a promise to myself that I would work harder to make a difference for the kids still in treatment & to honor the memory of the child who had just died.

Mattie Miracle will do great things for other children in treatment for Cancer to honor forever, Mattie's memory!