Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 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: www.mattiemiracle.com 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

May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008. Literally two months before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. It seems hard to imagine, since he looks so healthy here! Mattie loved playing on our deck, and as you can see he would take items from around our home and be creative. That day, he took several of my flower boxes, taped them together, and threaded them through our tomato plant guards. Once the whole thing was assembled he then got out his cars and trucks and played away. 






Quote of the day: You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~ Maya Angelou

I woke up in a funk today, most likely because I knew I had another very full day of work ahead of me. But this was creative work. Because I had piles of raffle items in Mattie's room. I had to go from piles to the creation of 12 Foundation raffle baskets. That may sound easy, but the staging of these 12 baskets took me all day. 
In addition to baskets, I also have toiletry items that have to be delivered to Baltimore, to stock our cart at Children's Hospital at Sinai. But I don't have the time right now to leave DC. So instead, I feel like I am living in a warehouse. This is not a look that makes me happy, as piles like this make me feel like I am living in chaos. It reminds me of the piles we lived with when Mattie was battling cancer. Piles that took me years to process through after he die. 

Here's today's fundraising thermometer..... $85,437!

May 3, 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008. Mattie was in kindergarten. It was a Friday, Mattie came home from school and Peter got off of work early. So we took Mattie on a Potomac River Cruise. A first, and he loved it! I still remember the boat's name... the Matthew Hayes. We all got a chuckle at that, since Mattie felt he and boat shared a name. While sailing, a fellow passenger offered to take a photo of us. Which I am glad he did, as photo documentation is so important to us now! Whenever I walk Sunny down by the river and see the Matthew Hayes sailing by, I think of the Friday afternoon captured in this photo. 


Quote of the day: Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. ~ Vincent Van Gogh


The highlight of my day was meeting two of my friends for lunch and celebrating a friend's birthday! I introduced them to a new restaurant and then after lunch, we walked two stores down to a bakery for cupcakes. I have known these two friends for quite some time, because we met at Mattie's preschool. I find it noteworthy that most of my friends from preschool still are in my life, and not only are we friends, but they are instrumental to the success of our Walk. I had no idea in 2005, when Mattie started preschool, that we would all be connected 14 years later. One of the many gifts Mattie left me. 


Today's Mattie Miracle Walk fundraising thermometer 
reads........... $84,749.
We are at 85% of our goal!

May 2, 2019

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008. Mattie was six years old and doing one of his FAVORITE spring time activities. Which was bringing home tent moth caterpillars from school, putting them in jar, taking care of them and feeding them until they formed a cocoon. Once the moths emerged from their cocoons, we would have a moth releasing ceremony on our deck. We did this for at least three years in a row. I figured it was a great way to actively participate in science and learn a life cycle. To this day, we have moths that come back and visit us on the deck. I am sure this is  just coincidence, but I would like to think these are Mattie's moths coming back to say hello. 


Quote of the day: A single act of kindness is like a drop of oil on a patch of dry skin—seeping, spreading, and affecting more than the original need. ~ Richelle E. Goodrich



For the past week, Peter and I have been working on signage for the Walk on May19th. Given that it is our 10th anniversary Walk, I believe it is important to highlight our accomplishments and to visually convey to our attendees what we do and what they help to fund. 

We created close to 30 new posters which will be featured at the Walk. This being one of them! 


Tomorrow I head to the printer to discuss how to get these images made into posters. I have been working with the same printer since 2009, when we started the Foundation. How do I know this company? Well the wife of the founder of the company used to sit next to me every Tuesday during chapel at Mattie's school. We truly met by happenstance, but we had a lot in common as we were raising an only child, who was a son, and neither of us had family living locally. My friend is very down to earth and very modest, because it was only after Mattie died did I realize her company is international and is a multi-million dollar business. It is thanks to my friend that we have incredible posters at each Walk. Her work is beautifully done and the posters always make our event look quite unique. 


Here's today's fundraising thermometer...... we are at  $83,975. Or at 84% of our goal. 

I had the opportunity to chat with a supporter today. She wanted to know how we go about fundraising because she was impressed with our progress. Which is ironic, because I always ask myself why we can't seem to raise more money each year? In any case, I do admit that we are able to raise money more easily now than when we first started ten years ago. The main reason I believe people donate is that we are transparent about where the money goes and the money goes directly to supporting our services to assist children with cancer and their families. 

May 1, 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2008. Mattie was at his school's spring carnival. Next to him was Campbell, one of his close friends from kindergarten and Campbell's sister, Livi. To me this photo was fun and innocent. Of course I thought Mattie would have many more carnivals to attend, as it never dawned on me that Mattie could get diagnosed with childhood cancer. 


Quote of the day: The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. ~ Vince Lombardi


"We have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand!" I truly relate to Lombardi's quote, as the Foundation's Walk & Family Festival becomes so overwhelming it takes over every aspect of my life. Toward the end of April and all of May, I live and breathe the Walk. It is Walk 24 by 7 at home, so much so that even Sunny and Indie are aware of the stress. But as tonight's quote points out, I do remind myself that I am working hard at the task at hand. Though I am not playing football which involves score keeping, there is a very tangible win or lose with the Walk. It translates into the amount of funds raised and attendance. In my opinion we need to meet our financial goal and have hundreds of attendees in order to be successful.  

Yet try doing all of this without a staff! Without a team of people behind you who are skilled in fundraising, publicity, marketing, and the list goes on. On most days, I have to serve in all of these positions, even if that means I do not have the experience or skill set. I have to figure it out! A rather daunting task really, especially when the role that I serve is not just a job, it is far more emotionally laden. Which maybe why failing would be unacceptable and much more devastating than a regular job. For me, a failure would be tied to dishonoring Mattie's memory. 

I remind myself that tonight we are at 83% of our goal ($82,823). So we are getting there but I am juggling logistics, creating event posters, working on the event program, trying to raise funds, finalizing our raffle items and wrapping baskets, and the list goes on. I feel like I am the jack of all trades, which can be exhausting. 

April 30, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 -- Mattie died 501 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2008. Mattie was six years old, and it was three months before he was diagnosed with cancer. Can you see why I referred to Mattie as my "little engineer?" Mattie was intrigued with how things worked even as a toddler, and by age two he knew how to use a screwdriver to disassemble and reassemble his toy cars!


Quote of the day: The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. ~ Albert Einstein


As I mentioned last night, I track our Foundation's thermometer daily! Well more like several times a day! It helps me track how we are doing or what we need to do to make to our goal. Last night, the tally was $75,768! Look at today's..........
$82,192. 

It may seem easy to raise money, but I assure you it ISN'T! Which maybe why it is hard to get people to fundraise for a cause! Yet thankfully we have cultivated a support base which is committed to our work. I don't take that for granted and it doesn't go unnoticed. Without our supporters all things are possible and one of the greatest possibilities is keeping Mattie's memory alive.  

April 29, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2008. Mattie was in kindergarten, and I got to visit the classroom that day. I took a photo of Mattie showing me his writer's workshop story. Basically Mattie was learning to write letters and words and string them together to tell a story. To inspire his story creations, his teacher asked for Mattie to bring in five photos of things, places, or people he wanted to write about. Mattie typically liked to bring in photos taken from nature. So this was Mattie's attempt to illustrate his story, with letters and words underneath it! Though Mattie was a good story teller, writer's workshop wasn't one of his favorite class exercises. 


Quote of the day: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. ~ Buddha


During the Foundation's Walk season, I feel like the jack of all trades. I have to coordinate the actual event and people, deal with permits and city requirements, all Walk materials, and not to mention fundraising! This year is our 10th anniversary and as such I am determined to raise $100,000! The Walk is an enormous effort and my joke is to host a non-walk walk! Funny, no? 

I track our fundraising thermometer closely each day. On April 22, it read $55,900 out of $100,000. 

Then on April 23, we had a very generous donor contribute $15,000, and up popped our thermometer to $71,494. 
As of today, we reached 76% of our goal, or $75,768. We are on our way, but do not think that means I am sitting back thinking that this will just happen! Instead, now we will be sending out messages through emails, newsletters, and social media to encourage people to attend the Walk, and if not, consider making a donation or participating in our raffle. Every dollar counts! To learn more go to: www.mmcfwalk.com

April 28, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2008. Mattie received a package in the mail from our former neighbors who moved to NYC. They wanted Mattie to know they were thinking of him on his birthday and hadn't forgotten him. This brown paper was what the package came in. It had all sorts of fun and musical messages on it. So we hung it up and put it on display for a day or so! Mattie loved it!


Quote of the day: Best to take the moment present, As a present for the moment. ~ Stephen Sondheim


Typically on the weekends we work the whole time! This was a different sort of weekend, starting with seeing Jay Leno live at the Kennedy Center on Friday. He was stellar, and though he says he is 68 years old, he did one stand up routine after the other for 90 straight minutes. He makes age look like it is all in one's head, as his endurance and wittiness were spot on! He was warm, humorous, and classy! He left everyone feeling a bit lighter, unlike most of the late night comedy on TV today!

At Jay Leno on Friday, we bumped into our neighbors who told us about Curtains the musical. So we went to see a matinee production of it today, by a community theater group. I would say the Arlington Players did a great job given that they had a very spoofy plot to work with. It was light, humorous, and fun. I can see why this show did not do well in LA or on Broadway, as the music isn't memorable and the plot is convoluted and unbelievable. But other than that, it was a great escape from our usual weekend routine. 


Read more on Curtains.......

Based on the original book and concept of the same name by Peter Stone, the musical is a send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston, Massachusetts and follows the fallout when Jessica Cranshaw, the supremely untalented star of Robbin' Hood of the Old West is murdered during her opening night curtain call. It is up to Lt. Frank Cioffi, a police detective who moonlights as a musical theater fan to save the show, solve the case, and maybe even find love before the show reopens, without getting killed himself. Cioffi also dreams of being in musical theater. The show opened on Broadway to mixed reviews, though several critics praised the libretto and the character of Lieutenant Cioffi, who critic Ben Brantley called "the best damn musical theatre character since Mama Rose in 'Gypsy', and the best role of David Hyde Pierce's career."