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

February 5, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2003. Mattie was 15 months old, and almost walking independently. I captured him maneuvering from the staircase to the chair. Grabbing at these objects for balance and support along the way. Teaching Mattie to walk was a very humbling process. What I learned was I couldn't do it for him. He had to decide when he was ready to walk on his own. This illustrated Mattie's personality and style because he was very strong willed and wanted things to go according to his timeline, not someone else's. As a new mom, I wanted to prevent Mattie from falling and hurting himself. However, I also had to learn the importance of Mattie's self-exploration and initiative. So Mattie may have been learning to walk, but I assure you the learning was always two ways.

Quote of the day: Grief and sadness knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger than common joys. ~ Alphonse de Lamartine

Tonight's quote is not only moving, but it is profoundly true. Grief can bond people together in absolutely extraordinary ways. I am not sure this statement would have meant anything to me before experiencing Mattie's cancer and death. I could elaborate on this here, but there are certain revelations that I have learned over the course of the last three years, that I would prefer to write about in a book. Capturing Mattie's life is important to me, and as I muster the courage and strength to take on a book, I also realize that there are some very powerful stories and connections that I have made through this ordeal that deserve exploration. My blog readers know so much about Mattie's story and "our" story, but in Mattie's book I want to tell you about his incredible life as well as uncover much, much more.

Peter and I had the wonderful opportunity to go out to lunch with Robbie today. As some of my blog readers know, Robbie was one of Mattie's favorite hospital childlife volunteers. Robbie understood Mattie and he also understands Peter and I. When we meet with Robbie, I find that I am easily myself, and I do not need to mince words or sugar coat things. Needless to say, we sat together for over three hours discussing the upcoming Foundation Walk. We truly appreciate Robbie's willingness to brainstorm ideas with us, and his willingness to take on tasks and responsibilities. Sometimes talking about the Walk is challenging for Peter and I, but Robbie helps balance our thoughts, shares his insights, and motivates us at the same time. I came to the luncheon with ideas, and when I left I felt as if Peter and I had covered a great deal of ground, and also had action items to pursue. I do my best thinking while I sleep and while I am busy. I woke up yesterday focused on creating a theme for this year's Foundation Walk. As the day moved on, I was focused upon other things, but by the end of the day, it just came to me. When I shared my thoughts with Peter and Robbie today, they both loved the idea, which I will announce shortly.

Despite the rain, Peter and I walked to lunch as well as walked home. We covered about three miles. I wasn't happy about the cold, but I was most definitely happy to be walking. Upon our return, I looked outside our balcony window, and as you can see we had a huge red tailed hawk sitting in our flower box. Peter was able to grab my camera and capture this sight (with Mattie's American flag in the background), but I was very upset to see that the hawk had caught a pigeon and basically de-feathered it on our balcony and had it in its claws. As Peter reminded me, this is how nature works. I suppose that was a reality lesson I did not need to see this afternoon.

I spent the rest of the day trying, with the emphasis on trying, to clean out the walk in closet in Mattie's room. This closet is an absolute disaster, and I haven't been able to walk into it since Mattie got sick. Needless to say, this is not a one day project, and I will be returning to it tomorrow. What a weekend! In the midst of cleaning out this closet, I found shoes of Mattie's from all sorts of stages in his development. I also found cards he drew for me (which I quickly piled together and saved), and I also came across cards from a long time friend of mine. Unfortunately this friend severed our friendship after Mattie died. She told me his death was too hard for her to handle, and therefore for her physical and mental health, she had to discontinue our relationship. This is definitely another book chapter, so therefore I am not elaborating on this here, but I do want to say that re-reading my friend's cards allowed me to further see that NOTHING is forever. Including friendships, especially ones you perceived as special and close, and motherhood. When I became a mother, I thought this was a role I would have for a lifetime. Cancer taught me about that faulty notion. So cleaning out the closet is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, and I knew it was going to be tough going into this project, but I did not expect to be reflecting on additional losses tonight. Many of the items I am throwing out or donating pertain to my former life. Specifically I am seeing my professional life (text books, workbooks, notes, notebooks) coming out of the closet, I am seeing toys of Mattie's coming out of the closet, and I am seeing reminders of my role as a mom coming out of the closet. There is a lot of history in this closet, and by giving these items away or throwing them out, it is to some extent saying good-bye to who I once was. I am a sentimentalist at heart, so asking someone like me to purge things is challenging on a good day, factor in my life's circumstances, and this task is not only daunting, but it is painful.

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