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

March 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2006, at Mattie's fourth birthday party. I held Mattie's party at Riverbend Nature Center in Great Falls, VA. The theme of the party was dinosaurs. However, the educator on site, did special activities with the children.... such as a nature walk, digging for plastic dinosaur bones in a sandbox, as well as getting to see and hold various animals (as you see here). Mattie absolutely loved the day and the kids felt like it was an adventure!

Quote of the day: The power of your story may not lie in its drama, but in its absolutely perfect relationship to your cause. John Capecci and Timothy Cage

In July of 2008 (when Mattie was diagnosed), Peter created Mattie's blog. He was tired of repeating each day's occurrence in treatment to friends and family and decided we needed a centralized place for our community to turn to. Peter was ahead of his time, because when he created this blog through Google, sites like Caring Bridge didn't really exist yet. It was a few weeks into the blog's creation that I actually replaced Peter as the author and started to write. Needless to say, now almost 9 years later I am still writing. I write everyday. I know what I write on the blog maybe confused with Vicki the mental health professional or Vicki the Foundation Leader. Which of course makes sense, since all these Vicki's are wrapped up into Vicki, Mattie's mom. After Mattie died, the blog became my outlet for managing and processing grief. Grief for bereaved parents doesn't end after year one, but instead becomes integrated into one's daily life forever. Like a fifth appendage if that makes sense. 

There are times in which my professional work with the Foundation can trigger very real and deep feelings. These feelings come out subtly or perhaps NOT so subtly on the blog. The intention for me writing is to express myself, to have an outlet to reflect on what I am thinking or feeling, because I must admit there are few safe outlets in our society. Most people don't want to hear your innermost thoughts and pains from child loss. So we all need an outlet, a place to vent, and that outlet for me is Mattie's blog. However, it is not only my place to vent, but it is my hope that in sharing other parents who are faced with similar challenges and struggles can see that they are not alone. That in grief we all cope and try to manage with others who may not understand us, and at the same time we feel we can't understand them. Conflicts of all sorts can arise when these two groups (childhood cancer families versus individuals with no personal experience with childhood cancer) air their thoughts and feelings. At times feelings maybe hurt, but in all reality, I think this is necessary in order for discomfort to lead to enlightenment. Enlightenment about different perspectives and insights. 

It is child life appreciation month! These four women are the child life specialists at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. In 2011, we brought Jess (in green) to Georgetown, and now this year, we have brought Morganne (in blue) to the hospital.

What is child life? I think this posting below sums it up beautifully..............

What I’m not:
A nurse. 
A doctor. 
A social worker.

A “Keeper of the Toys.” 
A magical “make-this-kid-not-cry” person. 
Only someone to play with the kids.

I’m not superfluous.

What I am:
I am a teacher, 
A helping hand, 
A support, 
An advocate, 
An active listener, 
A therapeutic touch, 
And a child development specialist 

I am an OR prep-er, 
An IV teacher, 
A de-coder of PICC, VCUG, MRI and NG, 
A distraction provider, 
An inpatient support, 
And a guide and voice for siblings 
All in the same day.

I am calm despite cancer, CAT scans, and catheters. 
I am strong in the face of syncope, sickle cell, and surgery. 
Kids can’t always do these things for themselves. 
That’s why I’m here.

I am deliberate in all of my actions and words 
Because I use the language of children 
And it has power. 
I am flexible and go where I’m needed 
Because children can’t always be flexible 
About when they’re going to freak.

I am not here to merely play with children, 
give them toys, and distract them 
With “SpongeBob.”

I’m a Child Life Specialist. 
When kids say they can’t, I tell them they can.

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

A beautiful blog. I am so glad you started writing. It is enlightening, enabling me to do a lot of soul searching as an advocate myself.

The definition of Child Lide is special indeed. It is the best one, I have seen so far. I know a good program helps tremendously.

Happy Child Life Month to all those who give their all daily to make a difference for a child