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 24, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2005, during Mattie's third birthday party. To entertain the children, I invited a George Washington University student who had an aside business as a children's performer. He had his own bunny, could do balloon animals and even a magic show. You can see Mattie petting Hobbs, the bunny. Hobbs was a major hit at the party, and Mattie absolutely LOVED the experience of petting a bunny on his own couch. 

Quote of the day: One person's trauma is another's loss of innocence. ~ Jodi Picoult

When I came across Picoult's quote tonight, I had to read it several times. At first I didn't get it but then it struck me.... Mattie was the traumatized and from that I lost whatever innocence I may have had. This quote is featured in a Picoult book that focuses on school shootings. But in all reality, the sentiments she expressed can apply to any trauma, and just like with any trauma, you can't discuss it without also discussing loss. 

The loss of innocence is pervasive and affects all interactions and relationships. Peter and I were talking tonight about our experiences going to childhood cancer conferences or even the hospital fundraiser we attended this year. Keep in mind that in these circumstances the dialogue is about childhood cancer, which should be a safe topic for us. Unlike our everyday world which for the most part has no direct childhood cancer experiences (THANKFULLY!). However, whether we are with others who understand childhood cancer or those who don't.... the end result is usually the same. A feeling of loss and isolation. Mainly because we don't feel that others truly grasp the traumatic experiences we endured and the loss we continue to live with. This is very evident at professional conferences, which are mainly attended by professionals helping children with cancer. They may do this for a living, but that is quite different from personally living with it! At the end of the day they go home and childhood cancer ends. This isn't true for those of us touched by cancer. But even in a room of other parents who have children with cancer or lost children to cancer...... I feel no camaraderie. I never have, which is why a support group setting would never work for me. 

When we were in Orlando, we funded a childhood cancer survivor (Melinda) and her mom to speak at our plenary session. Melinda spoke about her continuous feelings of isolation. Now, almost a decade after diagnosis. Melinda said she can be in a room filled with people who know her, and yet they don't really know her, or can appreciate your thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. It is a very daunting feeling to be this alone, to feel like you are screaming inside, and yet on the outside you look normal....just like everyone else. Hearing Melinda was almost an 'ah ha' moment for both Peter and me. What Melinda feels is exactly how we feel. Certainly we are not comparing ourselves to a person who has actually endured cancer treatment, but the aftermath in this particular case seems so similar. Not that it makes either of us feel better, but it does validate something that has been plaguing us for years. 


Margy Jost said...

Vicki, it has long been my belief that even 2 people experiencing a similar situation, will not have the same experience, no matter the degree of similarity! No one, but you & Peter know exactly the isolation you feel as a result of loosing Mattie to Cancer after witnessing Mattie's suffering and now his forever absence from the rest of your lives. Each loss is unique! I don't believe there is a lot, if any positive impact of joining grief groups. I know there are many professional people that would line up and discuss this with me. But there are no strategies, books, activities, etc. that can patch a hurting heart from the grief of loosing a child. Our child, is part of us. I totally recognize that these are my thoughts!! However, I believe if family, friends, others in life recognized they couldn't fix the hurt, that ignoring it makes it even worse, that placing time limits on complete heartbreak is impossible because there isn't one, more people could be a help just by their presence.

Margy Jost said...

As I pressed comments, I realized I had already left one. Hope it is ok to leave two!
I was touched by the quote from a Jodi Picoult novel. I can't read her books. At least, I don't think I can based on the one I tried to finish and couldn't. How factual, any of her novels are, based on her own real experiences, she nonetheless, writes about real life experiences of tragedy. Unlike fiction novels that take one places that just seem so unreal in my own world, her writing leaves me, sad! There is so much sad & isolation in the world!

When I worked, and someone new would be hired, then weeks later, leave because " they couldn't take the sadness. ". I always asked them how they could choose that as their answer to why, when no parent had the choice to up & leave because it was their child who was sick. You would think this question would have made me very unpopular. I did not care about that. My focus was the children, families, and doing what I could to help! However, the question was appreciated. Those I asked had no trouble saying, precisely it wasn't their life and they did have a choice. I will never understand that nor will I understand professionals who can go home and leave work at the office. I know some who didn't although no one walks in the shoes of another even with the same experience! Somehow though, I find it easier to spend time with those people who genuinely recognize it might not be their life or experience, they might not feel the same feelings but they care enough to stay and walk the path of support!