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

February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in February of 2004. You can see the beauty and excitement of Mattie. But what you can also see was Mattie in red. Naturally when he was a toddler, I dressed him in all colors. But the color he gravitated to was red. As he got older, he would tell me that red was his favorite color, and then continue on by saying..... that's your favorite color too!

Quote of the day: To the romantic soul, the rituals of Valentine's Day echo every day of the year. Richelle E. Goodrich

Our 90 minute plenary was a success today. This panel, incorporated researchers, clinicians, a childhood cancer survivor, parent advocates, and a payor (Anthem).

Pictured from left to right are:
Vicki, Pat Martin (Anthem), Lori Wiener (NIH), Andrea Patenaude (Dana Farber), Melinda Marchiano (Lymphoma survivor), Lee Marchiano (Melinda's mom) and Peter

Peter and me pictured with Melinda. Melinda and her mom live in Southern California. Mattie Miracle paid for them to come to the conference. We met this dynamic duo in Washington, DC in 2015, at an Institute of Medicine workshop. Melinda did an absolutely amazing job sharing her psychosocial story as a survivor. So much so that it remained with me for years. When we discussed with our researchers the importance of giving a voice to a survivor and parent on our panel, I recommended Melinda and Lee. What I love about Melinda is her ability to be engaging and inviting to her audience as she discusses a very difficult and painful subject matter. Melinda can deliver an honest picture, without making you feel completely depressed, but instead motivated to make a change and a difference.

Melinda and Lee were asked to tell their stories in relation to the psychosocial standards of care. Meaning if the standards had existed when Melinda was diagnosed.... would it have made a difference? Of course the answer is YES! Melinda addressed our survivorship standard and Lee addressed school re-entry and psychosocial support for parents.

Though I have heard Melinda speak before, several things she discussed resonated deeply with me. In our everyday lives, we walk around with a shell, to protect us from our losses/issues and the world. However, to do a presentation like this means opening one's self up to be vulnerable. Exposing truths, real feelings, and also dredging up the past. Don't get me wrong, the past is always with us, but having to find the courage to verbalize it and it to make sense to others takes great energy. Melinda also mentioned that she can talk to people in her life and yet no one truly understands what she lived through, which compounds the isolation. So much of what she reports as a childhood cancer survivor is true for parents as well. Especially parents who lost a child. Which brings me to another misnomer..... when people think of childhood cancer survivors they think of only the children. But in all reality it is everyone in the entire family system who is a survivor.

Needless to say, we had 130 attendees and people sat through the 90 minute presentation. You could have heard a pin drop!

When I returned to our room, I found a towel butterfly! I have no idea why the housekeeper did this, since we did not have an animal in the bathroom at check in. Nonetheless, I view this as a direct Mattie sign.

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, that is a very impressive panel for your presentation especially having a survivor and her Mom talk. I too, think it must takes great courage to open yourself up partularily to a group of mostly strangers. Even if their ultimate goal is so do their part to help to implement the Psychosocial standards. I greatly admire her & her Mom. I have great Faith in Mattie Miracle, you & Peter. At the end of the day, it is still you, other bereaved parents and this young woman & her Mom who live daily with the results of Childhood Cancer. The Drs.making decisions , for children & families with a child in treatment, will eventually make those decisions about their medical protocol and their psychosocial care because of Mattie Miracle. I have lots of Hope!