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

February 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2008. We took Mattie to a nature park that weekend and we came across a HUGE tree that fell over in a storm. As you can see, Mattie wanted to check it out and Peter snapped us standing in front of the base of the tree. Do notice Mattie was carrying a stick. Not unusual for Mattie, as he liked to pick up sticks and take them home to add to his collection! I remember after he died, we had piles of sticks in our commons area that sat there for years. 

Quote of the day: Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. ~ Russell Ballard

Transitions of any kind are difficult. Some are more challenging and even more traumatic than others. I remember when Mattie was a toddler (pre-cancer), it was next to impossible to transition from one activity to another. He did not appreciate change, especially change that wasn't on his own time line. Of course with practice and a lot of work to manage and prepare him for transitions, we found a way through it and what resulted was growth. As Mattie learned how to regulate such transitions himself and developed the art of being more flexible. But these are "normal" developmental challenges, which though hard, typically with age improve and even out. 

I met with a friend today and though we did not set out to talk about this, the theme of our conversation was transitions. All of her children are now in college and she is faced with what to do next. Given her focus, for over a decade, has been on child rearing, a mom can become quite lost when her children leave home. In comparison to my friends, I have experienced the empty nest syndrome way before them. Of course unlike their situation, Mattie did not leave to go to college, he died. Which is a vast difference, but what I have come to understand is that I am far ahead of my friends on this transition. Certainly I would go as far as to say, that my empty nest transition was far harder and far more complex. Because when Mattie died, I had to figure out how I was going to try to move forward with this loss, I had to face the fact that my identity of being a mom changed, and I also had to come to terms with my priorities and interests changing. So much so that I had no desire to return to the work I had once done. Though on aside, a former student wrote this to me on Facebook today..........You were the best professor, friend and advocate I ever worked with. You are always on my mind. I told Theresa that she made my day. 

Transitions can be good, such as getting a new job, moving into a new house, going to college, getting married, having a baby, winning the lottery, going on vacation and so forth. But unfortunately not all transitions are happy ones. Instead, some transitions are placed upon us such as being in an accident, being diagnosed with an illness, helping a friend die, or facing another traumatic event. Some transitions you can't prepare for and even if you could, would you want to? We can't live our lives fearing we will face a crisis every minute of the day. As worrying non-stop is exhausting and can be counter productive, yet we all wish to believe that when such a transition is trust upon us we will rise to the occasion. 

What I learned about Mattie being diagnosed with cancer and then dying, is that not everyone is cut out to help you manage a transition or crisis. Those you think will be there, may surprise you, and walk away. Yet, in our case, we had an extraordinary network in our community, 'Team Mattie,' who rose to each challenge we faced over a 14 month cancer journey. It is rather extraordinary. Though I rather have Mattie alive (and never have had a first hand experience with childhood cancer), if I had to find meaning in his 14 month cancer journey, then one of the things I would say I learned was that Mattie's story touched peoples' hearts and minds. His energy mobilized forces and now even 10 years after he died, his memory still inspires friends to support us, the Foundation, and to help other children with cancer. Bottom line, whether the transition is positive or negative, there is always meaning to found, we just need to look for it. 

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