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 14, 2021

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday, June 14, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2004. This was Mattie's second trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The previous year Mattie was more interested in the house's garden hose than going to the beach. He was also frightened by the sound of the ocean and wasn't wild about stepping into the sand. By the second year, Mattie was one with the sand and realized it was a medium he could use to build all sorts of things. Mattie had a natural inclination to put things together and he also had a way of getting you involved in his building process. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,469,661 
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 599,924

This morning, I woke up to this sighting. This truck is part of the sea turtle patrol. Do you see the two trails from the water through the sand? These are mother sea turtles who come ashore at night to lay eggs. The people dressed in orange check on nests and work hard to protect these turtle spaces from human interference. 

The Island is serious about their turtles, as they have a no light and flashlight policy after 9pm anywhere near the beaches. As apparently lights can disorient the mother turtles from coming to shore, and therefore, she can land up laying eggs in the ocean, which will prevent the eggs from hatching. 

Today, we did a ten mile bicycle ride around another portion of the Island. I believe there are like 60 miles of bike paths here. Along our journey, we visited the Vanderhorst Mansion, which is the oldest home on Kiawah Island. The approach to the house is remarkable! Almost movie quality. 

Down a picture-perfect tree lined drive and across a perfectly manicured lawn lies an expansive plantation house whose history dates back centuries. The Arnoldus Vanderhorst Mansion was the main residence on a South Carolina plantation that, at different points in time, extended across the whole of Kiawah Island and was bordered by the Kiawah River, the Stono River, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The island was settled by the English in the late 1600s, and the property changed hands several times until 1771 when it was willed, and divided into two, to Mary Gibbes and Elizabeth Vanderhorst (wife of Arnoldus Vanderhorst), by their grandfather John Stanyarne. Stanyarne had acquired Kiawah Island in 1717 and raised cattle and indigo on the island plantation in the 1700s.

The mansion! 

The Vanderhorst family was established in South Carolina towards the end of the 17th century. Gen. Arnoldus Vanderhorst was a Revolutionary War hero, Charleston mayor and South Carolina governor from 1794 to 1796. During the Revolutionary War, Vanderhorst served as a colonel under General Brigadier Francis Marion; Marion is remembered as the "Swamp Fox," one of the fathers of modern guerilla warfare. The 18th century period film, The Patriot, was structured around Marion's military feats.

This is what the bike paths look like. Frankly I think living here, one can't help but be healthy and in shape, since it is such a pleasure to be outside. 

The Island is known to have 300-400 alligators on it. Clearly this is ONE of them! This four foot fellow was right by the side of the bike path. 

The outside of our condo unit. The back side faces the ocean. 
Last night we made fresh Mahi Mahi. We bought the fish at the local farmer's market. I turned the left over fish into a salad today. All the fruit I tossed in the salad was also from the farmer's market. I have never tasted better peaches and cantaloupe. 

The view from our deck!

June 13, 2021

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2004. Mattie was two years old and we took him to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That was Mattie's second trip to the beach. That day we took Mattie to the Corolla Lighthouse. As I love lighthouses, I wanted to share that appreciation with Mattie. I am so glad we did these adventures with Mattie and we did not wait for the "right" time. As the right time, particularly in our case, was never going to happen. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,460,039
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 599.748

There was quite a storm last night. I total light show. We sat on our covered porch, had dinner, and watched the excitement. All I could think of was Sunny. If he were with us, he would have been besides himself. 
Neither one of us slept well last night. I couldn't stay asleep, and a migraine woke me up at 4:30am. This morning, it was raining, but we went out on the beach and walked about three miles on the sand. 
You can see that the beach was empty because of the rain. As the day went on however, more people did come outside. 
Can you see the dolphin? Several of them were swimming close to the shore line. 
This truck passed us while we were walking. You won't believe this! This is the beach's version of an ice cream truck. This one was called Beach Bites!
This afternoon, we drove to Rosebank Farmer's Market. We came back with amazing fruits and vegetables. I haven't tasted cantaloupe or peaches like this before. Nothing like you get in the super market. 
Needless to say, I am going back for more peaches. 
Later in the day, we went for a 7 miles bicycle ride. Typically I don't bike ride. The only time I do is when I am here. As the bike paths are wonderful. Along our journey, I came across this cute house-like structure in the town center. This house is for dogs. It is a centralized cooling station for your furry friend. 
Because it was overcast, it was the perfect day to bicycle ride on a part of the Island we typically don't do. We haven't bicycle rode to Mingo Point in the past because it is usually too hot and sunny. 

Mingo Point is known for its Oyster Roast and BBQ and it is the longest-​running event on the island. It certainly is a beautiful spot for such an event. 
Took a five minute break and snapped a photo of the bicycles we are renting. 
Kiawah Island is known for its amazing golf courses. Though I do not play golf, I find the beauty of the courses something to be appreciated. On these courses, I have seen deer, alligators, and today this anhinga. Do you see the anhinga, with its extended wings for drying? 
Kiawah Island also has about 400 resident alligators. It isn't unusual to see these reptiles by all the fresh water ponds. They have all sorts of information and guidance about what to do if you spot an alligator. First and foremost is NOT to approach it or feed it! NO PROBLEM! 

June 12, 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021 

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2004. Mattie was two years old and that year we spent a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Peter's parents, brother, sister-in-law, and Mattie's three cousins. We took the kids to the NC aquarium and Mattie was taking it all in. Mattie was always up for an adventure, and he enjoyed trying to keep up with his cousins. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,457,252
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 599,651

We left Raleigh this morning around 10:30am. Raleigh was a great stop. Peter and I are absolutely exhausted, and we had a slow night and got to bed earlier. We are making a conscious effort to slow down and regroup, before we have to renovate the house and then move. 

Unfortunately a good chunk of our drive today looked like this!
For about 90 minutes of the drive in North Carolina, as we headed to the South Carolina border, we passed these kitschy South of the Border signs. The signs are fun for passengers to spot, and I captured most of them with my camera. The signs also give a mileage countdown to South Carolina border. It helps me pass the time as Peter is driving.  
This one says.... something different. 
I have never seen the reptile lagoon at South of the Border, but if Mattie were with us, you know this would be our first stop!
It is hard to believe that South of the Border has existed since 1949!
South of the Border has everything to entertain families. Rides, food, ice cream, a ride up the observation tower, shops, miniature golf, an arcade, and the list goes on!
You can imagine the anticipation for families the first time they get to South of the Border.
I honestly don't remember this sign from previous trips! I probably did not spot it before. 
This is Peter's favorite!
I gather trucks stop over at South of the Border too. 
I can bet kids in the car are saying this, as they await seeing South of the Border.
When we arrived at South of the Border today, there was a family. Each of them bought a different hat, and they were a riot to see walking around. 
This is what South of the Border looks like. It is very kitschy, but a great stop! This time we stopped for ice cream within the complex. 
Peter has driven about ten hours since Friday! Not to mention driving to Boston last week. 
How do you like this wiener dog? In fact, there were families walking their real wiener dogs up to this statue. It was humorous!
When you head into South Carolina, you see these beautiful canopies of live oak trees with Spanish moss hanging off of them. To me this is a very special sight. Quintessential South Carolina. 
We are staying on Kiawah Island. We made reservations to stay here in 2020, but because of COVID, we postponed the trip to this year. We honestly did not know if we were going to make it down here with all we are juggling. But we made it happen. 
Close up of the Spanish Moss. 
We entered the condo today and the management company left us flowers. 
The beauty of the living space, which looks directly out at the Atlantic ocean. 
Our balcony. 
The bedroom is just as beautiful. It has a window seat and glorious views!

June 11, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2004. Mattie was two years old and this was his second visit to the Outer Banks. Mattie's first visit in 2003, did not go exactly as expected. As Mattie did not like being on the sand and he was very frightened by the ocean. By his second visit, Mattie had adjusted to some of the sights and sounds. Though if you look at Mattie in this photo you may question my perspective. I think the issue here was Mattie did not want to take a photo, so he was squirming and frustrated with us! 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,436,053
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 599,127

Last night, I was hit with a migraine. I do not know how I pushed through it, because I could hardly function, eat, smell anything, and let's not talk about the pain. But I took my medications and it stabilized me enough to go to sleep. 

I got up early this morning to take a conference call about a grant we are applying for, as well as to book appointments for all sorts of service folks to come out to the house starting the week of June 21. 

Peter and I got on the road at around 12:30pm. Given that we had just traveled last week, bought a house this week, we honestly weren't sure we would ever pull it together to go on our planned summer trip to South Carolina. We had summer plans in 2020, that had to be canceled because of COVID. Instead of canceling them, we postponed them for this week. We never knew in 2020, what our 2021 was going to look like. 

It was torrential rain for most of our 5 hour car trip to Raleigh. We are staying over in Raleigh and get back on the road tomorrow morning for South Carolina. 

It was heavy traffic until we got to Richmond, VA. After which the roads opened it. This stretch of highway is in North Carolina. I love the beautiful greenery and lack of congestion. 
Day lilies all along the North Carolina highways!
Our arrival into Raleigh, North Carolina. I am a big Love it or List it (on the Home and Garden channel) fan. Hilary and David do all their shows in Raleigh, so every time we approach the city, I think of them.