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

September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in September of 2008. As you can see, Mattie was sitting in front of a laptop computer. This computer was given to Mattie by his technology teacher, Mary (of course when Mattie died, we gave the computer back to the school). Mary visited Mattie in the hospital on a weekly basis. This wasn't her assignment from the school. Rather she elected to do this on her own time. This should tell you a lot about Mary. Mattie knew Mary from his kindergarten year at the school. In fact, Mattie was very fond of Mary and he loved her class and her style of teaching. Once Mary found out about Mattie's cancer diagnosis, she took it upon herself to continue teaching Mattie and felt that he needed a computer so they could work more effectively together. Besides these visits being stimulating for Mattie, they also gave me an hour to leave the room and regroup. So Mary was actually helping Mattie and me. Yet Mary somehow understood that Mattie wasn't always in the mood for a lesson. He wasn't shy about that either and would outright tell her. Of course Mary could have said okay and then left, but she didn't. Instead, she would work with Mattie on whatever he wanted to do. Many times that meant that Mary got wrapped up into Mattie's play schemes. Mary was one of the many amazing people who Mattie introduced me to and I will always be grateful to Mary for her visits and treating Mattie with dignity. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 6,435,528
  • number of people who died from the virus: 192,792

On the 19th anniversary of 9/11, it is my hope that we all remember this day. As 3,000 people lost their lives, and countless others who have survived are left with long term health consequences. Whether we know someone who died on 9/11 or not, it is a day that should make us all pause and reflect as a Country. I admit I did not lose a family member on that day or a close friend. Though my high school librarian (who we all loved), died in one of the planes which hit world trade center. So I will always remember Mary Lynn Edwards Angell

I also associate 9/11 with my pregnancy. As on 9/11/2001, I was scheduled to have my first obstetrician visit. That never happened. Instead, pregnant with Mattie I was glued to the TV, like so many others in the USA and around the world. I can still recall the feeling of fear I had the concern I had for my baby and its (didn't know gender that early on) future. 

Given that we are all faced with the lockdowns associated with COVID, I have been following the controversy about whether or not to have gatherings and particularly whether the names of victims would be allowed to be read at Ground Zero in NYC. I completely understand the health threat and public safety, but I also feel that family, friends and first responders need this outlet to remember and share in their collective and lifelong grief. Which is why I was glad to see the coverage of Ground Zero today, because those who are LEFT BEHIND need to absolutely hear their family members' names. Yes that matters and yes it helps with coping with such a traumatic loss. 

While reading an ABC news article on 9/11, I learned about the "survivor tree." In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.

Each year, the 9/11 Memorial gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities that have endured tragedy in recent years. The recipients this year of a sapling were three hospitals within the boroughs of NYC. One being the Montefiore health system, which lost 27 front line workers to the virus. 

Symbols and connecting to nature are crucial to survivors. It helps us feel a continued connection to our loved one, to invest back into our world as we watch this tree grow and thrive, and provides hope that we do have a future (though very different than how we thought or intended it to be). 

Tree that survived 9/11 serves as inspiration for past, future: