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 5, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2007, at Mattie's 5th birthday party. This party was one for the books! I held it at the National Zoo. They have special party rooms and assign you a zoo member who gives you a private tour of the zoo. Well that day there was rain, and I mean torrential rain. I thought the party was going to be a disaster with a bunch of five-year-olds walking in a deluge. The zoo has a rain or shine policy, so the party had to happen. What surprised me was the kids LOVED being in the zoo when it was pouring. In fact, so did the animals. They were all outside and loving the rain. The weather made it a real adventure and I am not sure it would have been such a memorable party without the help of Mother Nature. The zoo gave every child a safari hat, and to this day this hat sits in Mattie's bedroom. 

Quote of the day: Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. ~ Anatole France

For the past 8 weeks, Sunny and I were enrolled in a basic dog training course. I have to tell you, if someone told me I was going to be doing this, I most likely would have said NO! However, soon after we adopted Sunny, I felt his demeanor, personality and disposition would make him the perfect therapy dog. Particularly to help fulfill Mattie Miracle's psychosocial mission. Not sure how we lucked out with getting Sunny, since rescue dogs tend to come with a lot of baggage. Sunny thrives on human attention and love. Which is why a therapy role would be mutually beneficial..... good for a child and good for Sunny. Within a few weeks of owning Sunny, I started researching pet therapy certification programs. There are MANY, but they are NOT all alike. Some require a great deal of training/education, such as the National Capitol Therapy Dogs program. Mind you this is the only program that certain hospitals accept like Georgetown University Hospital and the Children's Inn at NIH. Which is why I decided to invest in this certification. 

Given the requirements of National Capitol Therapy Dogs, I couldn't just apply to enter into the pet therapy certification program without pre-requisites. Sunny needed to obtain his Canine Good Citizen certificate first, which he did on December 4, 2016. However, to date Sunny has taken a total of 12 training classes, and I am happy he graduated today. 

Now I can officially apply to enter the pet therapy certification program. I say I, because it is a program for dog and handler. I have learned with training, competition, or certification.... both dog and handler are being assessed. Here are the requirements:

Step 1 - Your dog must pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test before you start NCTD classes. 
Step 2 - You take a 5-hour class, for handlers only, to review important information you need before you visit with your dog. 
Step 3 - You and your dog take a 6-week training class that covers appropriate visiting behaviors and techniques. 
Step 4 - You schedule an NCTD evaluation for you and your dog, usually within a few weeks after your last class. 
Steps 5-8 - After you pass the NCTD evaluation, the Director of Volunteers will help you find a facility to visit. You will also be assigned a mentor, who will accompany and assist you until you are comfortable visiting on your own.

1 comment:

Margy Josi said...

Vicki, I absolutely understand your quote as. I am only unafraid of dogs since Michael's on dog was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have allergies to dogs & cats, thought this was my hesitancy alone. However, since helping drive Biscuit home after radiatin, hugging him in the back seat, I realized, that loving an animal, is a special friendship. I am so glad I did not miss this chance to know just how precious, dogs are.

Mattie lived such a short life. But even before you knew he was sick, you created such memorable events. I am sure this birthday party was an enormous hit in part because the rain cooperated to provide what every child loves to do - play in the rain.