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

August 24, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2006. Mattie was four years old and to me that was classic Mattie. He took one of his collapsible tunnels and decided to stand in it while walking down the staircase. Just out that smile! Also notice Mattie's shoes. He did not like leaving his shoes in his closet. But rather they lined our staircase, so he could have access to them when he left our home. For years our stairs were Mattie's shoe storage area! They became something we were used to seeing, which is why it took us a while to remove all his shoes after he died. 


Quote of the day: When dogs leap onto your bed, it's because they adore being with you. When cats leap onto your bed, it's because they adore your bed. ~ Alisha Everett


Tonight's quote makes me laugh! I have been away from home for two weeks now and got used to sleeping without a cat or dog jumping on me. Sunny and Indie brought me back to reality quickly. Both of them love bed time! Indie sleeps right next to Peter, it is like clockwork every night. She goes through a ritual of jumping on and off the bed, baking her paws into our blanket, and then finally curls up next to Peter. While Sunny may start his evening on our bed, he gets off early on. Only to give us a wake up call at 5am. He jumps on both of us, and he isn't a small dog. Therefore there is no way you can ignore him. 


It was a beautiful day in Washington, DC and we took Sunny for a walk around the National Mall. In the ponds were ducks and a Great Blue Heron. 
A close up of the Great Blue Heron. 
Look closely, do you see the park police officer on a brown horse? The horse was between the trees and going right to left. 

Slowly getting up to speed with doing chores, but still very tired and spent the majority of the day on the couch. 

August 23, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2006. Mattie was four years old and every August I took him to California to visit my parents. One weekend we went as a family to San Diego. One of the places we visited was Legoland. Given that Mattie was the King of the Legos, we had a feeling he would love the theme park. We were correct! It is a theme park that has something for everyone! Mattie loved seeing the larger than life Lego creations (like this yellow fellow on the bench with us), all the rides (especially roller coasters), and he even got his first driver's license at the park. 

Quote of the day: To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change. ~ Charles Horton Cooley

I have been traveling for two weeks with my parents. Tomorrow they leave for California. However, in three months time, I have gotten around this summer....

  • Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Boston, MA
  • Canadian Cruise: Montreal; Quebec; Saguenay; Prince Edward Island; Nova Scotia; Portland, ME; Boston, MA, and Brooklyn, NY
  • Tarrytown, NY

Peter and I took my parents out to Fiola Mare today. Despite the pouring rain, we had a lovely time together. To me, you can't get better food and service in DC than at this restaurant. 


The four of us over lunch! 

I am still not feeling great and my goal this weekend is to get better, as I have been suffering with a bad sinus infection for two weeks now. 

August 22, 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Tonight's pictures were taken throughout the year Mattie was in treatment for cancer. Our Facebook friend, Tim Beck, created this beautiful collage for us. The photos capture Mattie at the open ceremony of the Children's Art Gallery at the Hospital (the largest photo), the small photo on top was taken on diagnosis day (July 23, 2008), and the last photo was taken on Peter's birthday (November 13, 2008).


Quote of the day: When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home. ~ Thorton Wilder 


Today was my first full day at home. Though I have to admit I was up late last night doing chores. There always seems so much to do and catch up on when away. 

This afternoon, we took my parents to Great Falls. So they could experience a lunch outside on Chez Francois' terrace. To me this is such a memorable and peaceful setting. You are surrounded by plants, trees, and gardens. In fact, many of the vegetables and herbs used by the restaurant are grown on site. 

We were the only ones who braved the heat today! Everyone else was inside. 
They gave us a lovely gazebo table and there was a ceiling fan above us moving the air around. Which was greatly appreciated. 
See a trend? I told the restaurant it was my parent's anniversary. Their anniversary was on August 14th, but I figured you can't celebrate it enough!

The beautiful desserts in front of us were a baked Alaska, a raspberry souffle and their specialty celebratory dessert that contains a heavenly meringue. 

August 21, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken on August 3, 2008. This was a few days before Mattie's first admission for chemotherapy. That day, we went for a walk with our neighbor and his dog, JJ. Mattie practically grew up with JJ, our resident Jack Russell Terrier. Mattie loved JJ, and he always wanted a dog of his own. I have no doubt Mattie would have loved Sunny and Sunny would have loved Mattie.  








Quote of the day: There is a saying in Tibetan, Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster. ~ 14th Dalai Lama

Last night we had dinner on the Hudson River, at Red Hat on the River. It was a wonderful restaurant with great food, service, and atmosphere. My three criteria for a memorable restaurant. How do you like this sunset?

Pictured from left to right: me, my dad, Karen (my lifetime friend), Naomi (Karen's mom), my mom, Lisa (Gary's wife), Gary (a former student of my mom's), and Zachary (Gary's son)

Outside the restaurant, a lovely lady offered to take our photos. In two different directions. She was patient and kind. In the background was the Tappan Zee Bridge. 

This two day trip we had in New York was like taking a trip down memory lane. Something we do not get to do often, as we moved from New York in 1984. It was once our home, yet after living away from it for so long, it has now become more of a distance memory than a reality. But then again, a lot of my life has been this way since Mattie's death. 

My parents and I drove from New York to Washington, DC today. We got on the road at 10am and arrived in DC around 4pm. So it was a long commuting day for us. It is hard to believe how much we have accomplished in two weeks time, but the bright stops to being home is seeing Peter and of course SUNNY! I think Sunny is happy to have me back and I swear he was smiling at me today. 

August 20, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 -- Mattie died 516 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken on August 13, 2008. Mattie was in the hospital, and about a week into his first chemotherapy infusion. In the photo was Anna, Mattie's physical therapist. We met Anna early in Mattie's treatment process. Mainly because the team knew Mattie would be faced with extensive surgeries and would need physical therapy. So the notion was to introduce him to Anna from the beginning, so he'd embrace her as part of his care team. Anna wanted to get Mattie used to sitting in a wheelchair, as post surgeries, he would be spending a lot of time in it. So this was why you see Mattie in a wheelchair and working on hitting a beach ball in order to enhance his upper body strength. 


Quote of the day: Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


Yesterday was a long day as it started for me before 6am. It involved a harrowing experience of trying to disembark off of a Princess Cruise ship in the port of Brooklyn. Then one thing after the other went wrong.... they were filming a TV show in the lobby of our hotel in NY, so we weren't allowed in; the toilet in my hotel room wouldn't flush; my TV wasn't working; I needed to talk to my doctor and get antibiotics asap, and the list went on. 

However, last night we celebrated my parent's anniversary with lifelong friends. The highlight of our day. 

My mom celebrated with strawberry shortcake. 
So glad we took photos!
Today we spent the day touring through some of our old stomping grounds. As myself and parents were born in New York. I lived there through 9th grade and then moved with my parents to Los Angeles for high school. 

This was the first house I grew up in. It was in Hartsdale, NY, and was built by my paternal grandfather. 

Then we moved to Scarsdale. I lived in this house from 6th grade through 9th grade, but it was a community of people we will never forget. We knew all our neighbors, we all went to the same schools and the neighbors did things together. 

Literally, my mom and I got out of the car today and rang the bell of our home. Typically we don't do this, but figured we would try it. Two young women answered the door. Their parents weren't home, but one was going to my old high school and the other a college aged woman. They both were eager to hear our house reflections and they invited us in for a tour. Absolutely lovely experience which reminds me that there are good and trusting souls among us. 

Then we drove passed my elementary school in Scarsdale. This was Seely Elementary, where I attended 6th grade. Though a public school, it still looks as beautiful as a private school. 
Then we drove to Edgemont High School. Here I attended 7-9th grade. Again a public school, that looked and acted more like a private school. It was at Seely Elementary that I met my lifetime friend, Karen. 
Edgemont High School. I remember aspects of these schools and yet it seems like a lifetime ago. Or perhaps someone else's life. I wanted to share these memories with Mattie, but unfortunately I never had the chance to do this. 

August 19, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008.  Mattie was home between treatments and requested pasta. Honestly whatever Mattie felt up to eating we let him have it. As food no longer was of interest to him. At the end of his cancer journey, Mattie was literally just skin and bones. Very emaciated. Mattie went through food kicks that ranged from eating only Utz potato chips, or rainbow sprinkled donuts, or chicken nuggets, or soft dough pretzels, or vanilla milk shakes, or pasta!







Quote of the day: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway



The beauty of the sun on the Atlantic last night as it was setting. 
This was the sight outside our window at 6am. Any one who knows me, understands I am not a morning person. Practically every morning on the cruise I was up at 5 or 6am. In any case, this has taken its toll on me. 
It is in the 80s and humid in New York. Very welcomed after 10 days in cool and damp weather. 
The beauty of the New York skyline. Notice the sun coming up and being reflected on Manhattan buildings. 
The tallest building is the Freedom Tower.  It is truly awe inspiring to see it in person. One World Trade Center (or Freedom Tower) is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the tallest building in the United States, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The super tall structure has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. 
Do you see Mattie Moon over NYC?
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The Caribbean Princess docked in Brooklyn at 7am. I am quite certain I never saw a more dysfunctional  disembarkation process. It took us 2 hours to get off the ship, and I truly believe we only got off because I was kind to the Princess staff person and did not snap her head off like many other passengers. To disembark 3,500 passengers, you need a very organized process. Princess assigns you a disembarkation color, and the color is chosen based on your flight or travel arrangements post-cruise. Those who have morning flights are given priority to get off the ship. 




Well once we were cleared to get off the ship, then we got to a large room that looked a lot like this. Luggage every where. You then need to find your luggage and claim it. The problem was there were no luggage porters. I have never experienced this at any port. No one could help me with the luggage. So literally the wheelchair person who was escorting us, helped me get the cart you see above. Then he and I put all the luggage on the cart, and I dragged this cart for what seemed like the length of a football field to exit the building. The only reason we got out of the building in a timely way was because we had wheelchair service. Otherwise, ambulatory passengers were waiting in lines to get out of the terminal and I am quite sure they had to wait hours. In fact, several people thought they were going to miss their flights because of how long it was taking to process out of the terminal. There were NO porters, LITTLE to no taxis to transport people and the overall flow of people and luggage got a grade of an F in my book. 

The drive from the port to the hotel we are staying at took over an hour. We passed the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. 

All that could go wrong practically did today. We got to our hotel and they were taping the TV show, Blacklist. Camera crews were everywhere and we weren't allowed into the lobby. I was just about to scream. Rented a car, found a CVS, and planned dinners with friends for my parents tonight and tomorrow. What I know is I need to recover from this cruise as I am feeling absolutely crummy. I know others look rested on cruises, but I have yet to experience what that feels like, so clearly I am doing something wrong. 

August 18, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. Days were long in the hospital! Which was why I am grateful Mattie loved to create and build. Though cancer wiped away any gross motor skills he had, Mattie's fine motor skills were very much intact. You could always find Mattie painting, building with boxes or assembling Legos. Not to mention performing magic tricks. We tried to keep Mattie busy as it helped pass  hours upon hours in the hospital. 







Quote of the day: When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better. ~ Malcolm S. Forbes


Our ship left Boston harbor last night at around 10pm. It was a truly remarkable sight to see Boston at night, lite up like a Christmas tree. 

Last night we went to Sabatini's, which is a specialty restaurant on the ship. I would safely say it isn't worth the extra money to have this experience. In fact, I probably can give someone a how to lesson, on how to survive a Princess Cruise. 
On our sail away, we passed a Fort. This is Fort Independence. It is a granite bastion fort that provided harbor defenses for Boston. Located on Castle Island, Fort Independence is one of the oldest continuously fortified sites of English origin in the United States. The first primitive fortification, called "The Castle," was placed on the site in 1634 and, after two re-buildings, replaced circa 1692 with a more substantial structure known as Castle William. Re-built after it was abandoned by the British during the American Revolution, Castle William was renamed Fort Adams and then Fort Independence. The existing granite fort was constructed between 1833 and 1851. Today it is preserved as a state park and fires occasional ceremonial salutes. Fort Independence was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Boston at night. If Peter were with me, he would be able to tell me everything we were seeing. 
This light belongs to a lighthouse! Boston Light is a lighthouse located on Little Brewster Island in outer Boston Harbor. The first lighthouse to be built on the site dates back to 1716, and was the first lighthouse to be built in what is now the United States. The current lighthouse dates from 1783, is the second oldest working lighthouse in the United States (after Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey), and is the only lighthouse to still be actively staffed by the United States Coast Guard, being automated in 1998 though there is still a keeper acting as tour guide. The structure was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.
Princess Cruises is about marketing and promotion. They are wonderful at trying to get you to spend money. They are not very successful with us. They take photos of passengers at all our stops. Each photo is $15. What we do now, is take a photo of their photo! 
Our photo coming off the ship in Boston.
This is a Peter-ism. He takes a photo of all our Ship's newsletters for the entire trip. It serves as our travel log! In honor of Peter! 
This was my view this morning! Steep in fog. I could hear the ship's horn all morning warning other vessels of our presence. 
On board, the ship has boutiques! Remember Princess is about SELLING and more SELLING. Guess how much this heart shaped pendant is????? If you guessed over $110,000, you win!
As the day has worn on, the fog is lifting. This has been the calmest water cruise I have ever taken. I hardly feel the ship moving or rocking. The Atlantic today is like glass. 
The beauty of the water! Somehow being on an ocean really helps you understand just how big our world is, and our every day life is just a small component of the bigger picture. 

We have met some incredible crew members on this trip who have taken excellent care of me and my parents. They are:

Breakfast and Lunch: Oxana and Rollin
Dinner: Mauricio and Andre

In the Sanctuary: Dinish