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

June 16, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007, during our Memorial Day weekend trip to Amish Country in Pennsylvania. We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and that morning at breakfast, Mattie met the chef. The chef gave Mattie a paper version of his hat. As you can see Mattie was one happy camper. Mattie loved the whole hotel experience and having a big waffle in the morning for breakfast was a highlight. I am happy there were these memorable moments and that we always made time for adventures with Mattie. As we learned..... you don't get second chances at some things. 

Quote of the day: Champions are not the ones who always win races - champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. 'Champion' is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to bet themselves as much if not more than they compete to bet others. Champions are not just athletes. ~ Simon Sinek

Today was a licensure board meeting day for me. Which also means it was a grooming day for Sunny. What this translates to is that I am in a meeting just as long as I am in the car. My meeting was four hours today. But since I live in DC and Sunny's grooming is in Alexandria, I literally drive from DC to Alexandria, Back to DC for my meeting, then after the meeting I drive back to Alexandria to pick up Sunny, and then back to DC to head home. It is an exhausting day! Mind you I have to be fully engaged and on in these meetings because we are talking about laws, ethical violations, and decisions that impact the health and livelihood of people. 

When I got home, I found that Peter sent me an intriguing email. It had a 15 minute video attached to it and Peter said.... I think you will find this interesting! Boy was he correct. Once you move passed the one sided dialogue of this video, the content that this motivational speaker was addressing caught my attention. Why? Because I have observed exactly what he was talking about in Millennials.... which is for the most part they are entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused, and lazy. Keep in mind that a Millennial is a person born in 1984 or after. 

Now I am quite sure every previous generation had less than flattering remarks and insights about successive generations, yet I think there are very tangible differences in Millennials, which in part are very much explained by the environment in which they have been raised. This speaker goes on to highlight FOUR missing pieces in their development that helps to explain why they are UNHAPPY. If you doubt Millennials are unhappy, then I suggest you have a dialogue with any teacher or school administrator. Certainly in the therapeutic world we know that these teens and young adults are turning more toward alcohol and drugs than ever before and the level of depression and suicide in this age group is high. 

He describes the four missing pieces for Millennials as...... parenting, technology, impatience, and the environment. For example, he cites failed parenting strategies contributing to this overall low self-esteem and unhappiness that Millennials report. Parents have conditioned their children into thinking they are special and they can have anything they want in life just because they want it! Parents will go so far as to write, call, and speak to school administrators if their children are having difficulties with a teacher. In many cases, schools concede and change grades to appease parents. But what is the ultimate lesson learned here? Clearly not that working hard and even struggling with something can lead to success, deeper appreciation, and an inner feeling of satisfaction about one's self. 

But here's the problem. When Millennials are left to function in the real world, they begin to see that they really aren't special, that mom can't get them a promotion, and you get no rewards or special mentions for coming in last. This disconnect from how they were raised produces a shattered self-image. 

His discussion of technology was absolutely brilliant. He discusses what I have always felt about Facebook. Which is why I truly detest it! People report things on Facebook which depict happiness and that life is amazing! Reporting sad things and the reality usually produces MUCH FEWER "likes." So instead what you are seeing is a skewed view of people and the world. Which is one of the reasons I try to stay off Facebook. I find its superficial reality depressing. Yet interestingly enough studies have shown that the more time one spends on Facebook, the higher correlation with depression. 

But disengaging from technology isn't so simple and there is a biological explanation for it! Engagement with social media and our cell phones, releases dopamine. Which makes you feel good. This is the same chemical that makes us feel good when we smoke, drink and gamble. Just like smoking, drinking, and gambling, checking one's electronic devises is also an addictive and numbing behavior. If you doubt this, just think about the excited feeling your phone alerts you that you received a text message or someone likes your comment posted on Facebook. 

Of course the problem with this reliance on technology is that it becomes easier to turn to technology to manage stress than to talk to a human, and the gratification one gets from social media stimulates the production of dopamine. So it becomes a vicious cycle that is hard wired in the brain. End result though is a lack of deeply formed and meaningful relationships. Millennials haven't had the opportunity to develop verbal communication skills and the beauty of investing in the lives of others. 

I encourage you to watch this video, if this topic interests you. It does help give a meaningful explanation to a generation that is displaying lower self esteem, a lack of coping mechanisms, and a desire to have everything done instantaneously. However, some things like job satisfaction and deep connections with others are NOT things that can be found in an Apple App! Ideas happen and innovation occurs when observing and engaging with the real world not a computer!

The 15 minute video about the Millennial Question:

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