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 9, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In September of 2008, Peter, Mattie, my parents, and I drove up to NYC. Our goal was to meet a physician who specializes in osteosarcoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering. This doctor was offering an experimental immunotherapy treatment for children with osteo, and we wanted Mattie to be included and receive this drug. I will never forget our visits to Memorial Sloan Kettering, mainly because the two doctors we consulted with there told us Mattie was going to die, and they wouldn't even recommend treatment. Lovely no? It is true in the end Mattie did die, but thanks to the treatment he received in Washington, DC, Mattie was with us 14 additional months. Time which we wouldn't have gotten if we followed their advice. In the midst of meeting doctors in New York, we also took Mattie to some fun places, like the FAO Schwarz famous toy store. As you may be able to tell, Mattie wasn't himself and was giving us a far off in space look for the camera. 

Quote of the day: Sometimes in life confusion tends to arise and only dialogue of dance seems to make sense. ~ Shah Asad Rizvi

I remember in February of 2010, Peter and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean with my parents. To be honest, Mattie had only been gone for five months, so I did not know if I was coming or going. After Mattie died, I went no where, and did not want to travel. But when my parents booked this cruise for all of us, we went. While aboard the ship, I was introduced to Zumba. My mom had already been doing Zumba in Los Angeles, but for me this was all new territory. I liked it so much on the ship that when I got back to Washington, DC I wanted to find a class. But in all reality I was very fragile, so it had to be the right class. It turned out that the room mom, Jenny, in Mattie's kindergarten class taught Zumba close to Mattie's school. Given that I knew the instructor and she understood what I just went through and survived, I felt more at ease trying something new. 

For several years, I went to Jenny's class. It wasn't just a class, but it also became one of my social circles. Which was important because when you lose an only child to cancer, you can't imagine how you quickly lose friends and people in your life. For various reasons, such as the sheer logistics of not being involved in kid activities anymore and therefore not coming in contact on a regular basis with friends, or even the fact that friends can't handle seeing you! You remind them of their greatest fear..... the death of a child! 

In any case, Jenny's class served multiple needs..... exercise, getting out of the house, establishing a routine in my calendar, and meeting new people. For years, I enjoyed every aspect of Jenny's class, and if she was still teaching it, I would still be going. But about two years ago, she stopped teaching the class. I remember the last day of class, a few of us were very upset. We knew Jenny, and Jenny knew us. She knew aspects about our lives, what song and routine was favored by which student, and even ran several Zumba sessions at the Mattie Miracle walks in previous years. 

On occasion, myself and another classmate meet up with Jenny for lunch. At our last lunch together, I complained that I could not find a morning Zumba class anywhere. Most of them are offered in the evenings, and by 6pm, I am in no mood to start commuting through traffic to attend Zumba. A few weeks ago, Jenny sent me and my Zumba friend an email alerting us to a morning Zumba class. I was thrilled and also skeptical that I would like it. But today, my friend and I went to the class to try it out. Unfortunately there was a substitute teacher today! I say that is unfortunate, because we really liked the sub. So I have to find another day to go back and try the permanent teacher. Nonetheless, after not doing Zumba for two years, it was lovely to pick right back up. It is a wonderful workout and I need this cardio exercise to deal with fibromyalgia. Walking with Sunny is good, but it isn't enough. 

Sunny's morning routine was altered today, since he knows after I get dressed, we usually go for a walk. That did not happen and I could tell Sunny was perplexed! He is a boy all about routine. So changing things up is good for him and for me. Don't worry he walked five miles today with me despite the schedule change! 


Kristen DeBoy Caminiti said...

I have never tried Zumba but hear it's a lot of fun! I have never taken a dance class in my life. Had you danced before Zumba??

Margy Jost said...


There is only horrible that comes when a child is diagnosed with Cancer. Everything from that minute forward changes forever. Hope is one of those things in life that we hold tightly when all is going so wrong. Squashing your hope right at the start was so wrong & unfair. I recognize, we all want truth from our Drs. Truth is important for trust. We will never trust anyone who lied to us. But in September 2008, despite the severity of Mattie 's diagnosis, there were ways to tell you & Peter how I'll Mattie was without knocking down the wall of hope. Those particular Drs. failed that day. No two people are alike. Everyone reacts in their own way to treatment. I am sorry Mattie, you & Peter weren't given the facts along with the hope!
I always assumed. Zumba was very strenuous! I love to watch!