MATTIE MIRACLE VIRTUAL WALK WAS AN $110,000 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

April 20, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 -- Mattie died 603 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. Mattie was home, between treatments, and eating cornflakes. Some people like to look at clouds and imagine the objects and shapes they see! Mattie used to do this with cornflakes. He liked to check out their shapes and would tell me what he saw! This one reminded us of a fish! 






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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,785,779
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 568,413


I am happy to report that all toiletry drive items were delivered today, both to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Children's Hospital at Sinai! It was a feat, but I knew we had to accomplish this before the Walk. I am also aware that these items were really needed to restock our Carts!

I went to the Foundation's mailbox today and found it very full. Which is a wonderful vision during Walk season. As of today, we have raised $63,067!!!



April 19, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. Mattie was home between hospital admissions and as you can see it was a low day in our home. I did not even realize Peter was taking a photo. As we were both in our pajamas, and Mattie wasn't feeling good.... both physically and psychologically. It is sheer torture watching your child suffer in this way, and how Peter and I did not crack up is beyond me. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,731,497
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 567,654


Today I went for a consultation with an opthamologist. As I have NO confidence in the practice I have been using for years. I went from having no eye issues, to all of a sudden being a candidate for glaucoma. In fact, the previous doctor I saw scared me to death, saying that I could get a narrow angle attack at any moment, and could possibly lose vision in my left eye. She's a peach! No bedside manner, and then after telling me this called me a hypochondriac. Really?

I was hoping today's visit to a new doctor would go better. The office staff were fine, until I go to the doctor's tech. I thought she was incompetent and scattered! She was running around from patient room to patient room, slamming doors behind her! After waiting to see the doctor for 90 minutes, I literally got up and was ready to cancel the appointment. But soon thereafter the doctor showed up. He's personable and not an alarmist. He did confirm that my left eye has narrow angles, and therefore I am a candidate for glaucoma. I am headed back to his office in three weeks for more testing, in which he will dilate my eye and they will monitor my eye pressure for two hours. Should be fun! Glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) occurs from having high eye pressure. So testing my eye pressure over this period of time, provides more data points. But given what he is saying, I most likely have an iridotomy in my near future. 

So what am I talking about? 

The angle is the space between the clear part of the eye (cornea) and the colored part (iris), close to their meeting point near the edge of the iris. It contains the trabecular meshwork, which is the main structure that directs fluid out of the eye. 

In closed angle glaucoma, the angle is closed in many or most areas, causing increased eye pressure, which leads to optic nerve damage, and possible vision loss. This rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle closure) or gradually. 

A laser iridotomy creates a hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases. After the angle is widened from the procedure, the trabecular meshwork is exposed and fluid outflow is enhanced. Iridotomy is intended to preserve the vision and prevent glaucoma from appearing or progressing.


April 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. That day we took Mattie down to the National Mall for a walk. On our way back, we stopped at Mattie's favorite fountain. I think what intrigued Mattie was the height of the water, the massive amount of water, and the crashing sound the water made as it came down. Though this fountain still exists, it has been shut off all during COVID-19. But to me this is still Mattie's fountain. 





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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,646,227
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 567,071


Before I went to Los Angeles in March, I had sorted through three boxes full of toiletries. I was resigned to thinking that the April Item Drive would not be a success this year. To my amazement, I came home to this!
Thankfully Peter had been sorting items all along, so today, we just needed to do some last minute touches and separate it out for the two hospitals we support. So this pile is going to Children's Hospital at Sinai on Tuesday afternoon! 
This pile is going to be delivered to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Tuesday morning. For the most part both the items going to these hospitals are the same, except we provide Georgetown with two additional items: k-cups for coffee as well as kid bandaids.
We carried all the items from upstairs to our living room and staged this photo for our April newsletter! Next step is to load the car! 

We are grateful to all our supporters who contributed to our Item Drive in honor of Mattie's 19th birthday. 




 

April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. Mattie was going through a pasta and pizza phase. We went to the neighboring restaurant to the hospital and made his food request happen. Mattie LOVED the container the food came in, because he thought it was a clever way to park his cars! Leave it to Mattie! He was full of creativity, and despite how awful he was feeling, he bought into the fact that he needed treatment, because he trusted us and our decisions. 





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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,610,695
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 566,714


Last Saturday, I got into bed at around 10:30pm, Los Angeles time. I checked my emails before closing the lights, and I saw that I received an email from DC Department of Health, saying that I qualified for the COVID vaccine. I truly wasn't expecting this, since I signed up with DC months ago and never heard a time. But last week, I also re-registered Peter and me on the DC Department of Health website. 

Given the email, I jumped out of bed and began following the links to see if I could get an appointment. I saw appointments available, so I ran downstairs so I could register Peter and I at the same time. I logged into Peter's email and he too was approved. So I got him his first vaccine date for today at 2:45pm. He was set! While registering him, I was processing myself on my cell phone. But my phone was on LA time! So though I thought I was booking a 1:30pm (closer to Peter's time) appointment, I landed up at 4:30pm East Coast time. 

After we parked near the Arena Stage in DC (a mass vaccine site), I decided to walk in with Peter to make a case to take me early. I didn't even have to ask twice, the person checking us in was happy to take me early, as long as I had an appointment for today! 

Our vaccine site was run by MedStar Health, and they were efficient, professional, and very user friendly. I was expecting LONG lines, chaos, and a challenging experience. I got the exact opposite. In fact the person giving me the vaccine was a nursing student. We got into talking immediately. Try 20 minutes! I took so long, that Peter thought something was wrong with me! 

The student was very kind, understanding, and we talked about cancer and what else.... Mattie Miracle! She even wanted the website, because she wants to look at the Psychosocial Standards of Care.

After the vaccine was administered, I waited in a large area with others, with nurses roaming around checking on us! Very professionally done and we even have a second appointment made and at the same date and time! 

April 16, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. As you can see Mattie's hospital room was small. Yet despite its size, we always had a lot going on inside of it. Pictured here with Mattie are Linda (Mattie's child life specialist), Meg (child life intern), and Robbie (child life volunteer). It took a lot to entertain Mattie, especially in the hospital, and when not feeling well. Which was why we are forever grateful to the profession of child life! 


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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,565,262
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 566,088

Getting a feeling for how successful the toiletry drive was this year? It may be one of our best years ever! Each day I say I am going to organize these items and stage a photo for the newsletter, but never accomplish this because ten other things pop up! 
I am happy to report that as of today we are at 50% of our Walk goal. We have raised $50,947 so far!

Come check out our Walk:

https://2021.mmcfwalk.com/walk


April 15, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. That day Mattie was in the child life playroom with the Magic Man (Bob Weiman, the head of Mattie's lower school campus). Bob came to visit Mattie on a regular basis and taught him all sorts of magic tricks. For Mattie, magic was therapeutic. It helped him bridge the communication gap between him and his care providers and it also made him feel special. As his fine motor skills were unaffected by cancer treatment, and Mattie understood that NOT every one could do magic. 


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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,484,108
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 565,185

It was a glorious weather day! Sunny and I went for a walk on the National Mall. I wanted to photograph what is outside our home! There are now over 20 tents for the homeless. This was once a park where residents would sit and gather. Unfortunately now this isn't possible. Because I complained about trash to the city, they have now set up garbage pails at all encampments. Literally garbage trucks come by weekly to empty trash containers! Just like a weekly stop a truck would make at any other residence. 


Every DC park and even our monuments are lined with encampments. During the pandemic, encampments are NOT allowed to be touched according to the CDC. So instead the issues are growing all around us. 
More toiletries are still coming in!
Update on the Mattie Miracle Walk.... we now have 22 out of 50 states participating in our event! 

Learn more about the Walk:

https://2021.mmcfwalk.com/walk




April 14, 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken on April 4, 2009, at Mattie's 7th birthday party! It was a big day for Mattie and he worked on decorating the child life playroom for his friends. His friends came after school to celebrate and Linda (Mattie's child life specialist) ordered cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake. As you can see Mattie picked a vanilla cupcake (as he hated chocolate) and was having a fun and goofy moment with frosting all over his face! That year Mattie had two birthday parties (one in the hospital and one at a friend's home), which I am happy about, as it was unfortunately the last birthday Mattie ever celebrated. 



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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,413,970
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 564,271

While I have been gone, the toiletries have been pouring in! I am grateful that Peter can be opening boxes and sorting items for me. Otherwise, I would be drowning in items right about now. We are very fortunate to have wonderful supporters and groups who contributed this year. Special mention of thanks to:

  • Kearney & Company
  • Suitland Federal Child Development Center
  • National Charity League

Get a feeling for the amount that has come in! Despite the Pandemic, we have had a very productive Item Drive. Since our supporters want to see photos, I need to organize all of this and create an official toiletry item drive photo!
Indie has gotten into the act! Not much help sorting, but she loves the boxes!
I am proud to report that Mattie Miracle has raised $36,955, toward our $100,000 goal! 

Come walk with us:

https://2021.mmcfwalk.com/walk