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 6, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 -- Mattie died 403 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2004. This was Mattie's second trip to the Outer Banks. Mattie was two years old and by that point.... LOVED sand. So unlike the previous year where we couldn't get Mattie to go on the beach, by year two he was in it, creating, building, and happy for the experience. I will never forget how many sand toys we collected over the years. Mattie had a full bag of what seemed like sand tools and we never went on a beach trip without them. 

The big red house in the background of this photo was the house we rented that year. We invited along Peter's parents as well as Peter's brother and family. I still remember that the house's name was Beau Soleil. In North Carolina, houses by the water are all given a cute or catchy name. 

Quote of the day: We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. ~ Anonymous

This morning we got to see dolphins right from our deck. As Peter says.... It is Dolphin on Demand. I literally just walk outside in the morning and say.... I wonder if we will see dolphins? Minutes later we aren't disappointed. 

This is the sight of the water from our deck. Thankfully the deck provides us these beautiful sights and sounds, because the interior of our condo is another story. I have been dealing with the rental company for three days now and yesterday I wrote them a two page complaint letter, and matched it with photos and videos of the issues we are having. What I learned from all of this is that NC law protects the renter and NOT the rentee. I can't get 100% of our rent back because the property is deemed habitable, but I made enough of a case for them to give us 25% back. I am a big Home and Garden Channel watcher and all I can say is if any of these people visited this unit, they would move right to gutting the whole thing out. It wouldn't be a simple renovation. 

In the midst of filing complaints and contacting the rental agency, we have been getting plenty of knocks on our door. Who is there? But maintenance people from the company trying to fix our numerous issues. This morning I absolutely lost it and Peter was nicer but eventually threw the guy our of our unit. Mainly because he wanted to spend hours fixing things, spraying chemicals and the list went on. So I contacted the rental company again and told them I want NO MORE visitors. They will have to wait until Sunday to fix some of these problems. I should also mention that the rental agency was willing to give us 100% of our rental fee back if we wanted to move to another unit. CUTE, because guess what??? There is nothing else ocean front (with any company) available this week. So we are stuck, which I mentioned to the rental agent. I feel they are doing us no favors by giving us 25% back and made my opinions clear. Now after three days of this, I have to try to dial it back to find relaxation, which doesn't come naturally to me anyway.

I love lighthouses. North Carolina has plenty to visit. We have climbed up Hatteras Light as well as Currituck Light, however, we have only seen the outside of Bodie light. We changed that today. As of today we have climbed up all three Outer Bank lighthouses.

Bodie is pronounced Body! After a family who once owned this land. The current Bodie Island Lighthouse is the third that has stood in this vicinity and was built in 1872. It stands 170 feet tall and there are 214 steps that spiral to the top. It was renovated from August 2009 to March 2013, and was made climbable by the public. This lighthouse is one of only a dozen remaining tall, brick tower lighthouses in the United States — and one of the few with an original first-order Fresnel lens to cast its light.

You know how people hold up the leaning tower of Pisa in photographs? Well this is my interpretation with a lighthouse. 
This was the lightkeeper's house. Originally, the position of lightkeeper was often a political one, meaning that early keepers were frequently people not qualified for the job. It soon became apparent that a different type of personnel was needed to insure that the lights were properly maintained for the safety of the mariners. By 1852, stricter standards for hiring lightkeepers were in place and written instructions were provided. The new breed of lightkeeper proved to be hardworking and dedicated. Although they worked for little pay or benefits, the lightkeepers, often mariners themselves, understood the importance of the lighthouses and the job of the keeper.

Peter snapped a photo of me by Bodie Light. 
This 214 foot climb wasn't for the meek. The stairs are very steep and narrow and only one person can climb a flight at a time (there are 8 flights in total) because of the way the stairs are suspended in the structure. 
A view from above the lighthouse. It is actually a lovely and peaceful view from the top and all the rangers are very knowledgeable and happy to answer all questions. 
A view of the lightkeeper's house from above.
Behind the lighthouse is a lovely board walk. We walked out onto it and saw this white heron. 

A view of the board walk from above. 
I am not sure what I liked about this dead tree, but the contrast of its dark structure against the bright blue sky is eye catching. This tree was along the board walk.
Peter on top of the lighthouse. 

More photos from the Mattie Miracle Walk! Hard to believe I can be posting photos for almost two weeks now..... but YES there was that much going on at this four hour event.

Tonight's photos capture the energy around our food truck vendors. This is the first year we have moved to using food trucks. I was very leery about it, but it seems to have worked out. 

This was DC Empanadas. The founder and owner of this company is Anna Leis. Anna is a cancer survivor and truly stands behind our mission. So much so that she isn't only a supporter, but she is giving us 100% of the proceeds from the day of the Walk. 
This was the Big Cheese Truck, which made all sorts of specialty grilled cheese sandwiches. 
Our final food truck vendor was Scoops 2U, who sold ice cream.  

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