Mattie Miracle 8th Annual Walk & Family Festival was an $88,000 Success!!!

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

August 4, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. Mattie was a month into treatment. I really almost forgot about this until I saw this photo. Anna, Mattie's physical therapist, wanted to introduce Mattie to a wheelchair prior to his surgeries. She had to first locate a child wheelchair within the hospital, as they were not as common. So in this photo Mattie was experiencing what it would be like in a wheelchair and while in the chair they were having a physical therapy session. Anna wanted to keep Mattie's body in shape prior to the surgeries, which wasn't an easy project, given that he was undergoing high dose chemotherapy and adjusting to its various side effects. 

Quote of the day: We love our dogs and they love us, unconditionally. Oxytocin seals the deal. ~ From the Article Below

I was walking down the street today in DC. It is as hot as blazes out and for the most part people were sticking to themselves. However, there was an adorable golden retriever puppy walking down the side walk with his owners and the reactions I was observing were incredible. I mean NOTEWORTHY! People walking and in cars were stopping to smile and watch this puppy! Honestly you would think the people on the streets of DC have NEVER seen something cute or cuddly before. That of course is a different blog and problem! Naturally I thought the puppy was cute, but I was more fascinated to understand the phenomenon unfolding around me. (NOTE: I downloaded this photo from the internet, as I didn't think it would be wise snapping photos on my phone of people all around me staring at a dog!)

People have been trying to understand the bond between dog and human for years. Science wants explanations for the phenomenon I witnessed on the street today and naturally they turn to something quantifiable. As a result the release of the hormone, oxytocin, was assessed! Many of us are familiar with this hormone as we have heard about it during any basic biology class, as it is a hormone that usually triggers labor, and it is well known to be secreted in new moms. As it is a hormone associated with human bonding. But what about with our dogs? Do we release oxytocin when interacting with our dogs? Well scientists wanted answers. They wanted to know what was going on when humans and dogs stared longingly in each others eyes! What they found was that this eye contact stimulated the release of oxytocin in BOTH the human and the dogs. Fascinating no?! 

Based on studies with service dogs, who develop very close bonds with their patients, scientists believe that supplements of oxytocin could provide promise as a treatment to reduce anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress disorder and help those on the autism spectrum build social skills. All I know is that I have many more people, who I don't know, talking to me because I am walking Sunny. Dogs have a way of breaking down barriers and making it safer to have conversation. But what I noticed too about Sunny, is that when Peter takes him to work, people in the office find his presence therapeutic. They may not use that term, but in essence that is what I reading between the lines. When Sunny doesn't visit the office for a week, people want to know when he is coming back. Which begs a bigger question.... shouldn't dogs be allowed in all workplaces? If our furry friends enable bonding, social interaction, and reduce anxiety, isn't that a culture we want carried into every place of business? 

Those puppy-dog eyes trigger chemical connection with humans:

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Wow, I had never heard this theory before reading it tonight but is makes absolute sense. I know that when I am with Michael's Rounder & Biscuit, I can't get enough of them. They respond in kind, especially Biscuit.

The picture of Mattie in the wheelchair is heartbreaking as a result of knowing what was to come. I wonder know how many children, I knew had a therapist insightful enough to introduce it before the need was there? I don't know the answer but even with the introduction, no one can prepare a child for the loss of true mobility. Kids move and they move quickly and a lot of the time. Even a child with a good attention span counts on being able to move around their environment easily and often. How hard that must have been for Mattie to realize limitations in this area and how unfair. It just amazes me that in the area of research, childhood cancer does not have more of a priority! Children have a whole life to live, shouldn't they be our first priority?