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

July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken on July 31, 2009. Mattie was in the outpatient physical therapy clinic at the Hospital and next to him was Anna. Anna was Mattie's physical therapist. All I know is if I could clone Anna I would. She is outstanding at what she does. Mattie put her through her paces and really forced her to think outside the box many times in order to work with him. She met every one of Mattie's challenges and thereby earned his trust. Anna was the only one who was honest and upfront with me about Mattie's potential to walk again and have full use of his arms. No one else was explaining why Mattie never walked again post-surgery. But Anna helped me understand that Mattie had all three limbs operated on, therefore he could NOT use his arms to help rehabilitate his leg. In addition, Mattie also had chemotherapy which wiped him out throughout treatment. I felt like Anna was on our side, included us in all her strategies and was able to get Mattie to attempt a few steps at a time, by playing games with him. If you look closely in this photo, you will see a round object in front of Mattie on the floor. That was a whoopee cushion, and of course being a 7 year old boy, Mattie loved to stomp on it and hear the funny noise it made. 

Quote of the day: When you stand and tell your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal someone else. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Today I went for my annual mammogram. Prior to the issues I had in 2015, I really did not pay attention to the others around me or the ramifications to what was happening to these other women waiting for a mammogram. Not because I did not care, but because I was naive to the process unfolding around me. I am not sure why, since I lived through Mattie's cancer experience. So either it was naivete or simply because of all my negative testing experiences with Mattie, I began to shut off what was happening around me. It is safer that way. 

However, now whenever I go for my scan, I am very clued into the stresses all around me. Some women are waiting in the holding area to hear results, wondering whether they are going to be called back for further testing, and the list goes on. One woman was so nervous today, she couldn't figure out how to get coffee out of the coffee maker in the waiting room. She kept pressing the button but of course nothing was coming out because she did not put a keurig cup in the machine. She literally was talking to herself to manage through the process of waiting. When the tech told her she could then leave for the day and not come back until her next scan, you could see her excitement and relief. 

What this says to me is there is a missed opportunity in hospitals, as a psychosocial person is truly needed on hand to help people cope and manage the anxieties associated with testing and scans. Such anxieties happen at any age, not just with children. After all, any patient who has ever had a medical crisis understands full well the uneasiness of waiting for a scan result. In essence the result can change your life instantaneously for the worse or the better. I am happy for this woman today who was waiting with me, and I am happy this process is over for me for another year. 

Yet returning to the hospital today where Mattie was diagnosed was practically eerie. Eerie because in July of 2009, Mattie went for a harmless x-ray to see what was going on with his arm. In essence today felt like I was returning to the scene of the crime 9 years later. But that is what happens any time I enter a hospital Mattie visited or was treated at..... it brings me right back to his cancer battle. It doesn't matter how many years have passed, some thoughts and feelings have now become like reflexes. My challenge with each visit is to try to keep these reflexes in check without feeling paralyzed or unable to function. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, The picture of Mattie standing next to his Physical Therapist, I am sure is important to you. To see Mattie standing, even with the walker, to see Anna rolling on a stool towards that whoppe cushion is amazing. The hard thing to understand is why there aren't more ANNA's. None of us are the same, we all have strengths, weaknesses, high points, low ones. But why people work with Children who are not child friendly will always be a question, I will ask and wonder. I am glad Mattie had Anna. I am glad, she knew Mattie well enough to motivate him and that his input was welcome.

I think Psychsocial support is needed through our lives at various points and for some people more often than others. I have focused on Children because they are most vulnerable. However, I myself have been at scans where I help the person who,seems ready to jump out of their skin. We all have places where anxiety rises no matter what we do. Sometimes, our own is so high it is impossible to really be of service to anyone else. Besides, we are patients too. This is a matter, that hospitals, scanning center's, etc. should take into consideration.
You know first hand how a harmless X Ray can change the course of a life and family, completely and forever.

I am a person who believes there is no limit to the ages that Psychosocial support would help. I am always grateful to the staff at Fairfax Radiology for they seem to hire staff that is tuned into kindness. It doesn't matter which center does the scan, mammogram, etc. Fairfax Radiology is the closest, I have seen of a medical group that combines good care with support for a person's fears!