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

August 8, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 -- Mattie died 412 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. Mattie's art therapists were helping Mattie adjust to life in the clinic during his first month. Literally they pulled the ceiling tiles down and invited kids to paint on them. Then the tiles were placed on the ceiling for everyone to admire them. Mattie's art therapists traced a scene from Scooby Doo for Mattie to paint in. It was an OUTSTANDING activity for Mattie, Peter, and me. We were busy working on it for a few weeks. Mattie did FIVE ceiling tiles in total. When the clinic was recently remodeled we were able to reclaim three out of the five tiles. It saddens me that we did not get this Scooby Doo tile or Mattie's big roach tile. I have a feeling that the roach tile scared too many kids and parents and was tossed out! Recently Peter and I took photos of the tiles we have and we are in the process of framing the photos of the tiles and hanging them in Mattie's bedroom. We felt this would be a wonderful Mattie tribute. I don't think Mattie's art therapists knew at the time they were creating legacy items for us, but that is indeed what all of his Hospital art has become to us. 

Quote of the day: You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you. ~ John Green

I rarely go on Facebook. On occasion I will post something, and certainly during the Fall, Winter, and Spring when the Foundation is busy, I will post on the Foundation's page. But overall, I find Facebook aggravating, depressing and not a positive user experience. I much prefer face to face connections and conversation. For example, this morning I happened to go on Facebook because someone tagged me on a posting. While I checked out that posting, I went through my news feed. Ever SO BRIEFLY mind you. But I was on there LONG enough to get disgusted and hurt. One friend posted how she was celebrating her child's birthday. That of course is the reality of life... children have birthdays and I can't shy away from that. What troubled me was how she wrote about it. She said that she has heard that when a couple has an only child they are referred to as "a couple with a kid." However when a couple has a second child (or more), that is when people officially refer to them as "a family." I got the sentiment she was trying to convey, since it was her second child's birthday, but it was hard NOT to take that posting personally. Did I not have a family because I only had one child? Better yet what am I now? Now that this one child is dead, am I "a couple with NO kid?" I am being sarcastic, but at the time I was hurt and had to walk away from the computer. 

I am constantly left with the question.... why do people really like Facebook? I have heard that people who turn to Facebook tend to have lower self esteems, higher levels of depression and so forth. But after searching on the internet, I found a peer reviewed study that was published in 2017 about the effects of Facebook. I think it is worth exploring and reading. I posted Harvard Business Review's article about the study below. 

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology and assessed three waves of data from 5,208 adults from a national longitudinal panel maintained by the Gallup organization, coupled with several different measures of Facebook usage, to see how well-being changed over time in association with Facebook use. The researchers' measures of well-being included life satisfaction, self-reported mental health, self-reported physical health, and body-mass index (BMI). The measures of Facebook use included liking others’ posts, creating one’s own posts, and clicking on links. 

Overall, the results of the study showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. Researchers found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.

Honestly, I did not need a study to tell me these things. It is how I feel every time I go on Facebook. Fortunately I am attuned to how it makes me feel and I have NO problem at all walking away, not caring in the least what I am missing or what the latest trend may be. Mark Zuckerberg is fortunate that his devotees are not comprised of people like me, because if they were like me, he wouldn't be worth billions today. 

A new, more rigorous study confirms: The more you use Facebook, the worse you feel:

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Hi Vicki,
I love the picture, you posted of Mattie in what I always refer to as " thinking mode ". When I worked with children, many put their hand under their chin as they decided what they were going to draw. Immediately, I thought of those words when I looked at Mattie's picture. The ceiling tile is beautiful. I am glad you retrieved 3 of 5 but seriously don't understand when Children's art is thrown out without notice to the family. Especially are of this magnitude and considering it was drawn by a child in treatment for Cancer. I am sorry about this inconsideration of the feelings of you & Peter.
You are a family always! I never knew Mattie yet when I think of you, I think of Peter & Mattie. I am never quite sure, why especially today people count to get to the word, FAMILY. I can absolutely see why this would be hurtful and goes perfectly with your quote today. I, personally, was never going to go on FB. I have been on it now exactly 2 years 9 months. You know the reason, I joined but of course I venture beyond that purpose. I too, feel & see the hurt that can come from some posts. I too, recognize they aren't meant to hurt but to share but in the process of sharing, we may be hurting another. My enthusiasm is not what it was in November 2014. This is one reason among a few others where your quote holds meaning for me!
I hope you will put the framed pictures of the ceiling tiles on your blog when you have framed them. Also, if you have a photo of the two, you didn't retrieve, I would love to see them!