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

May 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2009. Mattie was home recovering from his sternotomy. A friend of his bought him these funny straw glasses. The point of them was to get Mattie to use his lungs by sucking in and blowing. Something that his respiratory therapist wanted him to focus on post-surgery of his lungs. Mattie did not like using a spirometer, so instead, we tried to come up with clever and fun ways for Mattie to do his exercises. 

Quote of the day: I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. ~ BrenĂ© Brown

Many of our friends and volunteers are working hard toward Mattie Miracle's upcoming Walk. One friend recently sent out more solicitations to local restaurants and businesses to contribute to our raffle. Within minutes of an email being sent out yesterday, a business owner responded back. Her name is Adriana Sifakis. She is the owner of The Italian Place in Old Town Alexandria. Adriana grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts and is Italian. Like so many of us who are Italian and come to DC, we land up disappointed with the lack of authentic delis and restaurants that serve Italian cuisine. So Adriana's shop is trying to change this. The cute and quaint shop captures your attention, as does Adriana herself. She works there around the clock to make sure her business is a success. She opened the shop seven months ago, and while I was on line to place a sandwich order and pick up my gift certificate for the raffle, I over heard so many people talking about why they shop there and each one chatted with Adriana. She is that personable. 

When I got to the front of the counter, I placed a sandwich order and also asked to speak to Adriana. She came out to talk with me and when I said I was there to pick up a gift certificate, she knew exactly who I was before I introduced myself. She is a real people person. Needless to say we got to talking, she paid for my lunch (which was a delicious treat, and unexpected), and I learned that she is a trauma survivor too. We have different traumas, but yet related to each other. In fact, I did not have to tell her anything about Mattie Miracle or why our work is important. She just understood it, and in my book she is a business owner we want to bring into our fold. 

Adriana wrote a book called S.W.A.K. What does it stand for? You may want to guess. Well it stands for.... sealed with a kiss. It is a story about her life growing up with a very dysfunctional mother. In fact, how she survived through her formative years is amazing, and turned out so well put together, trusting of others, eager to share her story, and most of all wanting to help her community and those in it. She said I was remarkable, but so is she. I came home with a signed copy, personalized to me. Gifts all the way around and meeting Adriana was certainly the highlight of my day!

Synopsis of the Book:

“Every knock is a boost.” That is the motto of Ma, the unhinged and controlling matriarch of the Napolitano family. Ma stomps through life on her own terms, teaching what she considers life’s most valuable skills to her twin boys and sickly, sheltered daughter, Lauren. Ma’s peculiar ideas about love, survival, and parenting directly mold her children; her lessons include using whatever means necessary to get by (even if those means include theft, arson, harassment, and fraud), doing what it takes to even the score, the importance of blood ties, the solace of a stiff drink, and the cold and calculating art of revenge. S.W.A.K. is a coming-of-age story that follows Lauren as she struggles through a tangled and complex mother-daughter relationship to the creation of her own identity and worldview outside of Ma’s influence. Uncovering a treacherous secret is the ultimate test of Lauren’s resilience as she is faced with acknowledging a heart-wrenching fact or living in a dangerous world of denial. At her core, Lauren possesses her own treasure, as fiery and strong as her mother’s. Its brightness and vivacity radiates from the page as Lauren seeks to find the strength to build her own life in a future of possibility. In the tradition of The Glass Castle, the novel chronicles Lauren’s journey as she finds the courage to understand the dangers and limitations of her family, and move beyond the life she has been dealt— traveling out of the familiar dysfunction of her upbringing and into a new world of opportunity and love. S.W.A.K. is a luminous story of family and faith. At times quirky and frightening, this powerful novel demonstrates triumph over the worst kind of betrayal and reinforces that while you cannot choose where you come from, you can choose who you become.

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...


Powerful words, " you can not choose where you come from but you can choose what to become." Very meaningful quote for me.

I am glad you met this amazing woman. It. Seems her generosity just kept giving yesterday!

You had a knack of helping Mattie participate willingly in his car. The straw idea is marvelous