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 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. This is almost a follow up photo from the one I posted last night. Last night you saw Mattie looking at rocks by the Hospital's medical library. But this was what was happening. Mattie and his IV pole were allowed outside to the courtyard to get fresh air and for Mattie to enjoy his visit with his cousins. The lady bending down with us is Miki, one of Mattie's HEM/ONC nurses. Now keep in mind that Miki was working on the fifth floor of the hospital, but in order to give Mattie outdoor time, rode down the elevator to the second floor outdoor courtyard to check on his IV pump. So a month into treatment, I knew Mattie's nurses were very special women. 

Quote of the day: I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers. ~ Khalil Gibran

Sunny and I drove to Crofton, MD today. I have never been to Crofton, but it is on the way to Annapolis. It is about 50 minutes from where I live in DC. We went to visit Kristen. Kristen is a social worker by training and we met each other soon after Mattie died. She was one of the people moderating a conference panel that I participated on for a palliative care conference. Since that time, I have remained in contact with Kristen. When I met Kristen she did not have any children. Now she has three very cute and charming boys..... Ryan, Zachary, and Connor. 

As you can see Sunny was a happy camper and so were the boys! I don't think Sunny has a mean bone in his body, nothing upsets him and I have never heard him growl. Which is why I know he would be the perfect therapy dog. 

These three boys would like a dog of their own. So in a way, Sunny was a test pilot today. Of course NOT every dog is like Sunny. 

I had the opportunity to visit Kristen, because she is interested in starting her own 501c3. Not related to childhood cancer, but that is okay since I have found that there are some basic commonalities to all non-profits. So I was happy to share my lessons learned from running Mattie Miracle.  
Connor thought Sunny was comfy like a pillow!
Kristen created an organization in her community focused on random acts of kindness. Outside in her backyard, she has a "Kindness Rock Garden." She and her boys decorated all these rocks and they welcome neighbors to take a rock and even create a rock of their own. However, Kristen's organization does more than just create rocks. She is focused on education, awareness, and community events that inspire kindness. 
Kristen and the boys gave me my own Mattie Miracle kindness rock. It is already in my garden. 
Today is a day I will NEVER forget!!!! Why? Because I was certain I LOST Indie, our cat. Indie LOVES outdoor time on our deck. You can see her hanging out on a chair. This chair gives her the bird's eye look, to watch all the activity in the sky. Every morning I give Indie outdoor time. I keep our front door open, so she can come in at will, and I latch shut our deck door, so she can't escape. Indie seems to understand NOT to jump the walls over our deck, so for the most part she really can be trusted out there unsupervised. Naturally I check on her periodically. This morning when Sunny and I were ready to leave for Crofton, I went outside to bring Indie in. When I looked on the deck, I couldn't find Indie. She wasn't hiding, there just was NO Indie. Then I looked at the deck door and it was UNLATCHED. Don't ask me how that happened because I am certain I latched it shut as I always do. Any case, I worked myself up into a silly, thinking that Indie went out the deck door and could be anywhere. I called her, Sunny and I walked all over our commons area looking for her. But there was NO Indie. I even went around the perimeter of the building. Of course by this time, I was already late for my Crofton appointment. Fortunately Kristen understood. 

Peter is in Oklahoma, but I called him in a panic. Once I calmed down, I then began to think logically. I knew I hadn't left her outside long, so if she got out, I would have seen her. Which led me to believe she had to BE INSIDE. But was HIDING!!! 

Inside Mattie's bedroom is a walk in closet. It is my catch all closet for everything. Including Foundation stuff. Do you see that stack of boxes? Well I moved those boxes and took a flashlight behind them. 
Indie had crawled behind the boxes and tucked herself down behind all my things, between the wall and the floor. When I flashed a light in that tight space, I saw two eyes reflecting back at me. I FOUND her! But she scared me to death today. I thought I was going to have to report a missing cat to the rescue shelter, which is what is required of us in our contract!

Indie is a piece of work because I was calling her for over thirty minutes, all over the place and she NEVER responded. It is the temperament of a cat!!!


Margy Jost said...

Vicki, I have known the best nurses ever in the world of Pediatric Oncology. Many of them consistently go the extra mile for their patients, seeming to understand how much this will mean in the long run.. It sometimes made them late to another patient but when a family recognizes that Kind of care, they really done mind waiting! For their child will receive it too!

I have little experience with Cats but I am shocked Indie hid like that. She is an interesting Cat. One of my favorite pictures is of Indie & Sunny lying near one another. Clearly in their own space but sharing being together!

I feel perplexed by. your quote. Yet I understand the feeling! Will have to do more thinking about it! I love your quotes. I find myself thinking about them long after I have read . Some I copy

Kristen DeBoy Caminiti said...

I loved reading about your day with us through your eyes! We loved having you! The boys will be talking about Sunny for days! And I am so glad your rock has found a home! Thanks again for all your insights and support as we embark on this 501c3 journey!