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

November 27, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in November of 2008 in Mattie's PICU room. As you can see Mattie's right leg was all bandaged up, as was his left arm. I did not photograph his IV pole, his pain pumps, or drains. But Mattie looked like an octopus hooked up to all sorts of things. Despite the magnitude of his surgery, the pain he was in, and the fact that he was immobilized, I remain in amazement at that beautiful smile. He smiled, even when there wasn't much to smile about.

Quote of the day: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peter went for his weekend morning walk on Roosevelt Island and when he came home he shared some wonderful pictures with me. Like on Thanksgiving, he saw a pileated woodpecker again, except this one did not flinch at Peter's presence and as the woodpecker was creating a large hole in this tree trunk, wood debris was flying all around Peter.

I think Peter did a wonderful job capturing this regal cardinal sitting in the tree. I have tried snapping pictures of cardinals on the Island before, but usually to my disappointing they fly away in the process. Mattie and I both loved cardinals, perhaps because red is our favorite color, or because they have a very distinctive call. 

This afternoon, Peter and I walked for several hours around Washington, DC. Our first stop was to the see the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial. Though this memorial opened months ago, because of crowds we avoided going. Today was the perfect weather day for walking and touring around. The memorial is very distinctive and symbolic. When you enter the memorial you are greeted by a boulder, which is otherwise known as the Mountain of Despair, broken in half.

At the entry portal, you see the Mountain of Despair which is two stones parted and a single stone wedge is missing. This wedge has been pushed forward toward the horizon. The missing piece of what was once a single boulder now sits to the right of this picture (the wedge is called the stone of hope). The smooth insides of the Mountain of Despair contrasts the rough outer surfaces of the boulder. Beyond this entrance portal, you see the missing part of the boulder which has been pushed forward and on it bears a sign of a great monolithic struggle.

The Mountain of Despair, through which every visitor will enter, signifies the struggle of Dr. King's journey and ends with being released into the open freedom of the plaza. The solitary stone (pictured below, which symbolizes the path he blazed through the Mountain of Despair) is called the Stone of Hope, from which Dr. King’s image emerges, gazing over the Tidal Basin toward the horizon, seeing a future society of justice and equality for which he encouraged all citizens to strive.

On the side of this stone, the theme of hope is presented, with the text from King's famed 1963 speech cut sharply into the stone: "Out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope." On the other side are inscribed these words: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness,” a statement suggested by Dr. King himself when describing how he would like to be remembered.

The following information comes from the Memorial's webpage......The element of the memorial which truly captures Dr. King’s legacy is the Inscription Wall – this element transforms a mere monument into a living memorial. Fourteen of Dr. King’s most notable quotes are engraved on a 450-foot crescent shaped granite wall. The quotes span the too-short career of Dr. King, the earliest taken from his rise during the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in Alabama, 1955. The latest quote, appropriately, was taken from his last sermon delivered in Washington, DC at the National Cathedral in 1968, four days before his assassination. The quotes are not placed chronologically, allowing any visitor to begin reading from any location within the memorial, not requiring them to follow a defined path. The quotes selected are those which are most representative Dr. King’s universal and timeless messages of Justice, Democracy, Hope and Love. None of the inscriptions are from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, for several reasons. Primarily, the entire memorial design is derived from King’s most memorable speech; given the limited room for sharing his message and the breadth of his work, the overall design itself is the mark of respect for the moving words from 1963.

After our visit to the MLK memorial, we then continued walking to visit the WW II memorial. The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis. This is one of my favorite memorials on the Mall. It is very symbolic of the battle that occurred in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the use of water simply attracts both young and old.

I suggested to Peter that we visit a particular location by the Tidal Basin. The location is actually called Independance Island, but frankly I did not know that until today. I have visited this place multiple times with Mattie when he was well and when he had cancer. I wanted to go back there today because it is serene and it attracts all sorts of birds and ducks! This plaque lies on the ground right before the bridge over to the little inlet.

As we traversed the bridge, we came to an opening that acknowledged all the signers of the Declaration of  Independence. Peter is sitting next to the five signers of the Declaration who were from Massachusetts! I thought that was fitting for a Bostonian.

Here is the part of the Island that Mattie LOVED. All the ducks! I remember the last time Peter and I took Mattie to this part of the Tidal Basin, he was quite sick and in a wheelchair. I was exhausted and forgot to bring bread and crackers with me. Another family observed Mattie's disappointment and they came over to Mattie and gave us loaves of bread to feed the ducks. I will never forget that act of kindness! Because it brought a smile to Mattie's face to see the ducks all around him looking to him for food!

While watching the ducks, I sat on a wall which happened to have a large sunflower right next to it. I am a big sunflower fan, and I remember so many members of Team Mattie giving me sunflowers to cheer me up in between our hospital stays. Sunflowers are a happy plant who like me, thrive in the sun.
I would like to end tonight's posting with a message from my friend and colleague, Denise. Denise's daughter is Marisa, and Marisa helped me in the spring and summer of 2009 with caring for Mattie when he was home between hospital stays. In addition, for all my walk attendees, Marisa is the young lady who heads up our bake sale (three years in a row!). Denise wrote, I haven't emailed in a while and wanted you to know that you, Peter and Mattie are never far from our thoughts and our hearts. We went to visit Marisa in Italy in October and we were sitting on the balcony at our hotel. We looked up into the night sky and saw a beautiful full moon and we looked at each other and said, "Mattie Moon." Another time Dave was reading the paper and there was an article about a Lego Park and it included a picture of a huge Lego sculpture. He passed me the article to read and said one word, "Mattie."  When we were in Rome, I knelt in front of the Pieta and said a prayer for all the mothers I know who have lost a son....    In Paris, we saw some sculptures made of Legos; they were in strange shapes and we all looked at them and had the same thought at the same time. The work that you and Peter, with help from your supporters, have accomplished with the Foundation is "awesome". I am so excited for you and we already have Mattie Miracle dates on our calendar for 2012. Sometimes, I do not write or email because words seem inadequate. Please know that you are always in our hearts and in our thoughts and we look forward to supporting you in all the activities for the Foundation."

No comments: