Mattie Miracle 2021 Walk was a $125,000 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

June 15, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

This photo was taken in June of 2009. That year, Mattie had two birthday parties. On his actual birthday in April, he had a party in the hospital child life playroom. Then two months later, he had a second birthday party at my friend Christine's home. She had Mattie's friends over, and even arranged a Reptiles Alive show. As you can see Mattie was getting to know a snake! Unlike Mattie, I hate snakes and stood WAY BACK from the show, to avoid the reptiles. Yet I captured this priceless photo!

Quote of the day: Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. ~ Shari R. Barr

Last night, the sky was very clear over Kiawah Island. We saw this wonderful Mattie Moon. The moon was so bright, it shone on the ocean and the ocean looked like it was glowing. Unfortunately the iPhone doesn't capture this scene or do it justice. 
We woke up early this morning to pack up the condo. The end of any time away is always difficult, no matter how you travel by condo, hotel, ship, you name it. When we looked out the window, we could see Bucky and Billy chomping away. These two male deer hung around our complex all week and I assume this is their home. 
The view we said good-bye to! It is funny, we are staying in Raleigh, NC tonight. Because the 8-9 hour drive straight through from Kiawah to DC isn't pleasant. Which is why I told Peter stopping over is important for both of us. When we checked into our hotel in Raleigh, we were telling the front deck staff about our trip to Kiawah. The woman laughed, and asked us whether it rained. We said yes! She then explained that every time she goes to Kiawah and Charleston it rains. That she hasn't really seen it in sunshine. I can picture that happening, given that we had three days of rain. It is hot and humid there, which breeds rain.

This morning we had breakfast at the Sanctuary Hotel on the island. This was our view. The hotel is designated an Audubon property and the flowers and foliage are breathtaking! 
Even the trees are memorable. Live oaks covered in Spanish Moss. It is quintessential South Carolina. 
To me this is the highlight of the long drive. Seeing the South of the Border signs that take you 90 miles from South Carolina, into North Carolina. I snapped over twenty but I am sharing my favorites. This one was at 41 miles to the border. 
This one had me laughing.... conveniently located in the middle of nowhere. This sign was at 36 miles until the border.
At 33 miles until the border was "hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil."

This big SMILE greets you as you approach South of the Border!
South of the Border is an attraction on Interstate 95. It is so named because it is just south of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, and was the half way point to Florida from New York in the early days of motor travel. The area is themed in tongue-in-cheek, faux-Mexican style. The rest area contains restaurants, gas stations, a video arcade, and a motel, and truck stop as well as a small amusement park, a mini golf course, shopping and fireworks stores. Its mascot is Pedro, a caricature of a Mexican bandido. The stop has since fallen on hard times as more modern hotel areas (both to the north and south) have grown along I-95.

In front of one of the shops at South of the Border is this wonderful flamingo!

Not far from the flamingo were alligators. So Peter pretended to ride it like a horse.

All along the highway in North Carolina are these beautiful yellow lilies. Hundreds of them! It is truly hard to believe this is I-95, as I-95 North looks NOTHING like this!

Our approach into Raleigh, NC!

June 14, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2009. We were given tickets to a Nat's game. Mattie also received this Nat's jersey from a friend. I will never forget taking Mattie to the game that day. People all around us were staring at Mattie. As if he was contagious. Not only do I remember the stares but I recall people jumping out of the way in fear. 

Quote of the day: You never regret being kind. ~ Nicole Shepherd

As today was our last day on the Island, we decided to enjoy the day NOT traveling around in the car. We had three very rainy days here in a week, but today was a glorious weather day. So we went out for a bike ride. 

What is wonderful about Kiawah is that you can ride on the beach. The sand is packed tightly and when at low tide, there is plenty of room for beach goers, bikers, and walkers. I also love looking at the houses along the beach.

We took a 12 mile bike ride today, and covered a lot of territory. We rode from one end of the beach to the other and then came back using bike paths. 

We were riding bikes into the wind on the beach, which is quite the work out. But we did it. Needless to say, there weren't others riding in our direction! 
For the most part, many of the people on Kiawah Island own multiple houses. So the Island house is their second or third home. Needless to say the houses are huge. 
Get the idea?
Another beauty! 
Once we got off the beach and biked on the paths, we passed a lot of natural beauty. Which included today this wonderful heron, a deer, and even an alligator. 
This was one smart gator. Who was he looking at? Well there were two fishermen on the land. They began to fish, and with that, the gator made his way over to them. The fishermen told us that the gator likes to catch whatever fish their bait attracts. Meaning the gator is a real hindrance to them. 
After a long bike ride, we then headed to lunch at the Turtle Point Golf Course Clubhouse. The views are wonderful. We got to watch people playing golf, we saw deer crossing the golf course, lots of birds, and even a gator. 

After lunch we visited the Sanctuary, which is a one of a kind beach resort/hotel. I like going there the day before we travel, because I always pick up their home made sandwiches so that we do not have to stop on the road for food. Their sandwiches are wonderful. 

See the grandeur of the hotel lobby! While waiting for our sandwiches to be made, we walked the property and stopped into their gift shops. I met one woman while shopping, who moved to Kiawah. She loved all her vacations here that much, that she and her husband moved here permanently. As she says, Kiawah isn't the real world. Which is absolutely true. It is insulted from the complexities most of us face in our daily living (crime, graffiti, pollution, crowding, traffic, homelessness, and the list goes on). I call Kiawah, Mayberry (after the Andy Griffith show). 

When we returned to our condo, we went for a 3 miles walk on the beach. I think this is the beauty of Kiawah, you can have a very active lifestyle all year round. In theory I could bike ride in Washington, DC. But the reality is I won't ride in traffic and all of our bike trails are too packed with people. So I truly enjoyed getting out and about this week. 

I loved this sandcastle that someone built today, so we snapped a photo of it. 

Beaches at Kiawah. Never packed with people! No loud noise, no rowdiness, and the list goes on. 
The beauty of the Atlantic. 
Our evening selfie!
While writing the blog on our balcony, look how came to visit! Our friend Bucky!
Can you see Bucky? This photo gives you some perspective, as he is just behind the scrub brush of the beach! 

It is hard to leave tomorrow. As it takes us almost an entire week to slow down from our typical frenetic pace. Yet it is nice to know that places like Kiawah exist not very far from us. 

June 13, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. With Mattie was our calico cat, Patches. Patches was like Mattie, bold and strong willed. But Patches understood right away, from the day we brought Mattie home from the hospital, that she had to be nice to Mattie. Even as a toddler when he would try to chase her, she never used her claws or hissed at Mattie. They grew to be good friends. So much so, that when Mattie was diagnosed with cancer, and he was home from the hospital, she would sit on his bed with him. After Mattie died, Patches was depressed. She spent hours in Mattie's room, sitting on his pillows. Something she had never done before. 

Quote of the day: I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou

Today we went exploring on Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. Both about 30 minutes from Charleston, SC. To get there, we had to traverse over the Ravenel cable-stayed bridge, which is so large that you can see the cables from miles away.  
Quite the bridge!

This is the charm of Sullivan's Island. A sleepy sea side community, with American flags lining the streets. Sullivan's Island is most famous for being the home of Ft. Moultrie. 

Ft. Moultrie fell on great disrepair, but now it is part of the National Parks Service, and was re-opened to the public in 1976. 
Colonel William Moultrie commanded patriot forces on Sullivan's Island in June 1776. The son of a wealthy physician, Moultrie rose to prominence as a captain in the South Carolina militia in 1761. He was appointed colonel of the South Carolina regiment on June 17, 1775. When a British fleet attacked an incomplete fort on Sullivan's Island, Colonel Moultrie and his troops defeated them in a 9.5 hour battle that resulted in one of the first decisive victories in the American Revolution. By the end of the war, Moultrie had been promoted to major general. After the War, he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives as Lieutenant Governor and then two terms as South Carolina Governor. For his victory on Sullivan's Island, the fort was named Fort Moultrie. 

Fort Moultrie is a series of fortifications on Sullivan's Island, built to protect the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The first fort, formerly named Fort Sullivan, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, as "The Palmetto State." The fort was renamed for the U.S. patriot commander in the Battle of Sullivan's Island, General William Moultrie.

A close up of the South Carolina state flag. It is blue, with a palmetto tree, and crescent. The crescent is NOT the moon, but instead a symbol that was on soldiers' uniforms. The tree symbolizes the palmetto logs that comprised the fort.

We have visited Ft. Sumter in SC on a previous trip and very much appreciated having a ranger give us a tour of the Fort. Ft. Moultrie is a self guided experience, which is challenging if you do not know much about the Fort's history. 

This is the third fort to be built on this location and it is literally called Ft. Moultrie III. Fort 1 and 2 were destroyed. But keep in mind this Fort was used in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the two World Wars.

When war broke out in 1860, the fort was relatively abandoned in favor of the newly claimed Fort Sumter, but the effort to move to this new stronghold would prove to be a bad idea. In April 1863, Federal iron-clads and shore batteries began a 20-month bombardment of Sumter and Moultrie, and when the Confederate Army evacuated the area in 1865, Sumter was a pile of rubble, while Fort Moultrie, hidden under the band of sand that protected its walls, only received minor damage from the nearly two-year attack.

The fort, one of the few coastal forts intact after the war, was modernized in the 1870's, adding layers of concrete and huge new cannons to the site. These upgrades would barely be used, as while the fort was active during the next big national skirmishes - namely the two world wars where enemy submarines lurked off the American coastline - they were not much help compared to the nuclear weapons and guided missiles which changed the landscape of national defense.

Tonight we dined at FIG. Which stands for "Food is Good." This is our third time visiting SC, and the first time trying FIG. Mainly because it is impossible to get reservations. You can only make a reservation 28 days ahead of time. Peter literally put a reminder in his calendar, to make a reservation and it is serious stuff. Because you have to make the reservation first thing in the morning (28 days ahead of time) before all the slots fill up. 

We have heard about this restaurant from friends, and frankly I wanted to see if it was worth the hype. I can safely say it is worth it! The food is outstanding without being over done. This is how the restaurant describes itself:

We source products with integrity, flavor and soul, and incorporate these seasonal offerings into our menu nightly. The result is food that is honest, straightforward and pays homage to the Lowcountry, a special place we are privileged to call home. However, the FIG experience is about more than just food. A sincere effort to educate our staff on all aspects of food and beverage culture is the basis for our service philosophy.  It is our goal that guests feel special, comfortable and well taken care of.

Our friend, Becca, who is an executive chef in Washington, DC told us about the lamb filled gnocchi. So we started with the pasta as well as crab and Carolina rice. Both were stellar. 
I snapped a photo of Peter early on in the evening. However, over the course of time we were eating, practically every table in the restaurant was filled. It is an intimate space, with about 20 or so tables, so it did not feel chaotic and no one was rushing us. 

June 12, 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. Mattie gravitated to science and science experiments. Mainly because I think he was fascinated by how things worked. With science, he could mix things together and cause a reaction or evoke change. In front of Mattie, on the coffee table, was glassware and a test tube. Mattie loved creating mini-volcanoes in our living room. 

Quote of the day: Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain

Last night we had reservations at the Ocean Room. It is on Kiawah Island, and probably the finest restaurant here. We had never dined there before and we were looking forward to the experience. 

It's the kind of restaurant, where you can't wear beach attire. So I am pointing this out because we had to change to dine there. Before I got to the restaurant, I was developing a migraine. I popped migraine meds, hoping that I would be fine. I made it through the salad, and then when our entrees were delivered, that was it! I told Peter I couldn't be at the table any more and that the food would need to be wrapped, as I needed to leave immediately. I felt very badly for Peter, who was about to bite into his rib eye. I just knew if I stayed one more second, I was going to be sick to my stomach and would be making a memorable scene. So I left the table and Peter with all the food! Fortunately our waiter was very understanding and accommodating. 

This migraine was sickening. So basically I ate nothing, until this morning. I am still dealing with a migraine today, but without the nausea. The problem with such a condition, is I can't always determine the triggers. Therefore, I could be anywhere, doing anything, and it can unfold. Which makes me nervous because not everyone appreciates how debilitating such a disease is, and therefore, I am more cautious about traveling with others. 

Fortunately it was a rainy day. I say this because it forced me to slow down. I snapped this photo from the living room window, because the morning was a total wash out! 
I love watching the pelicans fly by. They fly over our deck in large groups of 15-20 at a time.
By 11am, we ventured outside. It had stopped raining. We bicycle rode about 7 miles. Which took us to the other end of the beach. Once we got there, Peter literally walked into the Kiawah River. The beauty of Kiawah Island is that the waters are very shallow for quite a distance off shore. As you can see from this photo. 
Happy in the water. Though cloudy, with scattered showers, the water is warm. Most likely in the 70s. 

While Peter was in the water, I was standing in the sand. You can see what was around me..... no one. With that said, it isn't desolate either. As people are walking or riding bikes on the beach all the time. In addition, there are constant beach patrol folks around, so you feel safe. But it is wonderful to not be fighting for space or dealing with noise. 

Why do I like riding down to that section of beach? Because it is less populated and therefore easier to find intact shells. Literally big whelk shells and I love my giant Atlantic cockle shell! 

The Washington Nationals sent me some professional photos today of Peter from the May 25th Unsung Heroes Day. This was Peter on the mound, before throwing out the first pitch. 
Don't you love Peter's form!??
After Peter pitched the ball, he got to get Erick Fedde (Nats Pitcher) to sign the ball. Then Peter posed for a photo with Erick and Screech, the Nats mascot. 
Erick signing Peter's ball that he just pitched. 

Check out the video the Nats sent us. I entitle it....Mattie Miracle's Unsung Hero.