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: 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

December 3, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2008. As the dry erase board indicated, it was August 24th to be precise. Each of Mattie's hospital rooms had a dry erase board in it. Once Mattie's treatments began, this board would be filled up with all sorts of stats about Mattie. We kept track of every input and output. In fact, our board was so detailed that his nurses no longer had to ask us questions. They would just come in, look at the board, make notes and leave. Which was a major bonus at all hours of the night. If something was going into Mattie, we knew about it. We knew the quantity, how often it was administered, and usually what was needed to combat whatever side effect the drugs could potentially produce. One particular evening, Mattie was in a silly mood, and decided to transform the board with a drawing from his imagination. This was "Mr. Big Head." The problem with Mr. Big Head was the things that came out of his nose. Being a typical six year old, Mattie was into gross things, and that evening, he proceeded to freak me out with his description of Mr. Big Head's "boogers." It was a memorable moment, which was most likely why I photographed it. Understand that during that first month of chemotherapy, we were all on the edge, so times of laughter were welcomed and appreciated.


Quote of the day: Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in. ~ Alan Alda


It is funny how assumptions you develop while growing up can continue to cloud your perspective even as an adult. When I was growing up, as a teenager, the world seemed more black and white. Or maybe it wasn't necessarily the world's perspective as much as the perspective within my teenage mind. In any case, in my school, you were either a sports oriented person or you weren't. Those of us who weren't sports oriented at times were treated as second tier individuals and to some extent that affected our popularity. Fortunately, in many ways I was born older, and Mattie was this way as well. I did not get wrapped up with who was popular and who was not, and I certainly wasn't going to change myself just to fit into something that I didn't deem important. Therefore, while growing up, it was very evident to my peers that I was NOT a sports person but a dance person. I was viewed as fragile and most definitely not worthy to be selected on a sports team. In fact, in gym class when kids had to pick members of their team, I was always last to be chosen. I was the consolation prize. Rather humbling of course, until others learned that if you needed someone agile to run and jump over things, you really wanted me on your team. With that said, throughout my life I have been utterly turned off to sports and therefore this has also clouded my opinion of those who play sports.

This brings me to tonight's quote. Peter and I had the opportunity today to attend the Georgetown University Basketball team's game at the Verizon Center. As many of our readers know, the Georgetown Business School's "Creativity and Innovation" course adopted Mattie Miracle as their community based learning project this semester. One of the student groups in the class also happen to be members of the University's lacrosse team. As team members they are connected with an organization on campus called HoyaDreams.

The HoyaDreams program is a unique partnership with the Georgetown University Department of Athletics. The goal of the HoyaDreams program is to encourage Georgetown student-athletes to reach out to chronically ill children and their families and make a difference in their lives. The Hoya Athletes will spend time with Georgetown University Hospital's pediatric inpatients, and spend time bringing them to Georgetown athletic games. For the current inpatients, these visits will help them feel special and hopefully motivate them to work towards the goal of getting well and out of the hospital. For the patients who have finished their treatment, it will serve as a reward for their taxing and difficult medical treatment. http://m.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/documents/pediatrics/childlife/HoyaDreamsbrochure.pdf

So the lacrosse students in this business school class connected Mattie Miracle to HoyaDreams, and today, we journeyed with them to the Verizon Center, in the heart of DC, and escorted eight children who are being treated at Georgetown's Hospital with their families to the game. While at the game, I had the opportunity to interact with these lacrosse players and observe how they cared, looked out for, and connected with the children. The lacrosse players served the kids lunch, gave them high fives, talked with them, and made them feel special. So these young men changed or "scrubbed" away my assumptions about athletes and sports in general and they shed a new light on the picture.

I have never attended a basketball game in my life. The Verizon Center is huge and there are flashing and animated signs everywhere. In fact one sign was an advertisement for the acela train, and literally there was a train going around the entire perimeter of seating on the screens. Mattie would have loved this! He also would have appreciated the advertisement for BED BUGS!!!! Literally just like the train, there were computerized bugs walking across the screens. I took that as a sign from Mattie, because it reminded me of our days within the hospital!


During halftime, the children, Mattie Miracle, and the University lacrosse athletes were invited to center court. This was quite an operation to get our group from our seats down to the court area. The kids were excited and nervous because going in front of hundreds of people can be intimidating.

While journeying down to the court, I had the opportunity to talk to several children before the experience. Some got very scared walking out into these bright lights with crowds of people all around them. They jumped into their parents arms. However, as the experience continued, they started soaking it all in. Keep in mind that while we were walking out and standing there, an announcer was explaining who we were and why we were there.


Peter and I were center court at the Verizon Center with the children, their families, and the members of the lacrosse team.

It was hard to capture all of us, but Katie (one of the Hospital's childlife specialists on point today) was kind enough to snap pictures for me with my camera. She did a great job of capturing the excitement! Toward the right hand side of the line up are all the lacrosse players associated with HoyaDreams who helped make this outing happen today.

Mattie Miracle was given the opportunity to share our logo with the fans today as well as some pictures and information about us. Here is a camera shot of the large screen above our heads with our logo.

While the announcer was telling the audience about us, pictures of Mattie and of our Foundation events flashed on the screen. I can safely say that Mattie made it to the Verizon Center! I am not sure how many people can say in their lifetime that their picture flashed on the Verizon Center's big screen? Mattie would have been thrilled and if it weren't for Mattie, I would never have had this experience today.

 
While we were on center court, here was what the announcer read.......
Fans, please turn your attention to center court where Georgetown Athletics will like to welcome the members of Hoya Dreams and the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation.
HoyaDreams is a unique partnership between the student-athletes, Georgetown Athletics and Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics. In conjunction with Georgetown University Hospital’s Child Life Program, Hoya Dreams pairs Georgetown student-athletes with children treated at Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics.
Through Dream Days, these children who are undergoing treatment are brought to campus for an afternoon to interact with student-athletes and attend an athletic event.
Through Hoya Visits, student-athletes make a trip to engage with current patients in Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics on a regular basis to provide motivation and support during their stay.
The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation is a non-profit, founded by Peter and Vicki Brown in the memory of their son Mattie who passed away from bone cancer at the age 7.
Mattie was treated at Georgetown Hospital, and because of the excellent care and treatment Mattie received while at Georgetown, the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation raises funds to support programs that help other kids facing cancer.
Mattie Miracle’s mission is to support the psychological, social and emotional needs of children and their families fighting childhood cancer.
The Foundation is proud to be partnering with HoyaDreams, the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown and Georgetown Hospital’s Childlife Program, to help bring these kids and their families to the game today. Please put your hands together for these courageous children and their mentors.
--------------------------------------------------

This was an incredible experience for many reasons. The primary reason was I got to see smiles on the faces of these children. Actually they were so happy and thrilled at the end, that it brought tears to my face. It was overwhelming. One little boy said to me...... "It was AWESOME, the best thing I have ever done!" Seeing his facial expression was almost as priceless as his words!

We are very grateful to these lacrosse players for helping us make this meaningful connection to HoyaDreams, and naturally always to Linda (Mattie's childlife specialist), who helps us behind the scenes to make sure Mattie Miracle is prominently represented. For those of you who are interested Georgetown won the game. In fact it was a significant win against the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

 
We walked to the Verizon Center today. So round trip it is about 8 miles. Along our walk home, we passed the Nation's Christmas tree. The one aspect of this display that Mattie always LOVED were the trains. As usual the trains did not disappoint this year and all the 50 smaller trees (representing our 50 states) that surrounded this larger tree were quite beautiful.

I am ending tonight's posting with a message from my mom. My mom wrote, "You have made great strides in presenting Mattie Miracle's good works to the public. The 8 children who attended the basketball game through the Foundation and Childlife will have wonderful memories of being together at a happy event just before the holidays and it will counterbalance the daily grind of sickness by giving these deserving children a brief respite from doctors, hospitals, medical protocols and all the intrusiveness of treatment that they have had to endure. They are indeed like survivors of war with deep battle scars that have lasting, unimaginable effects on the body and soul and it is owing to your interaction with the Business School at Georgetown University that they will be honored during a half-time appearance with their families before the audience at The Verizon Center. It is a fitting acknowledgement of their personal victories over their dread diseases and a wonderful opportunity to once again draw attention to the important mission of the Mattie Miracle so that like ripples in a stream the waves of enlightenment about the need to rehabilitate the victims of pediatric cancer will generate an ocean of good will! Kudos to Georgetown University for having educators like Bob with vision, creativity and heart to inspire a new generation of caring innovators!!"


1 comment:

Abbie Greer said...

Vicki- Thank you for continuing to post on your blog. I really enjoy reading it and appreciate all you are doing to help other kids in need. As a parent now, it breaks my heart even more than before to read and re-read your story and thoughts.