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 5, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2008. I know that this photo must have been taken on a Friday, given the activity we were doing. We were out in the Pediatric Unit hallway enjoying an experiment hosted by the Georgetown University Chemistry Club. I was kneeling between Mattie and Brandon (Mattie's big buddy). The other person in the picture holding the blue container of dry ice was Chris. Chris was the Chemistry Club president and really tried hard to engage Mattie during his visits. That day, Chris gave each of us a red rose. You can see Mattie holding his rose, while I am dipping my rose into the dry ice. Literally after a few seconds in dry ice, this rose became a popsicle. Once I pulled the rose out of the dry ice, Chris directed me to throw it on the floor. The rose shattered in hundreds of pieces, not unlike a piece of glass. When I looked at this photo tonight, it jogged my memory. Mattie loved the rose so much, that he refused to dip it in dry ice. He wanted to hold it and take it back to his room. Keep in mind that flowers and plants are not allowed in a PICU. But having the opportunity to hold something living was special to Mattie. He may not have verbally expressed it, but in essence that was what he was saying by refusing to use his rose in the experiment.

Quote of the day: Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. Kindness that catches us by surprise brings out the best in our natures. ~ Bob Kerrey

I think there is a lot to be said for unexpected kindness. Kindness that is given without a motive or expectation for something in return. We see glimmers of this type of kindness around us on a daily basis, but I am not sure we acknowledge it. Or accept it for how beautiful it is. Last night I received an email from my friend Karen, who lives in NY. Karen is a NYC high school math teacher, not unlike my mother. In fact, if you ask Karen why she became a teacher, she will say she was inspired by my mom. My mom was an outstanding math teacher, she challenged her students, and many of them went on to college and to accomplish great things.

We live in a screwed up society where teachers are taken for granted and are not compensated appropriately for the jobs that they do daily. Many of Karen's students have been greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Her stories are horrible and depressing, because children this age should not be worried about clothes, food, and where they will live next. Forget how they will get to school or even if they will attend school, right now they are dealing with the most basic of needs..... safety and food. Karen could have spent the day yesterday at home preparing for school to start today. After all, school has been out for a week because of the storm's devastation. But instead, she went to different clothing stores and other establishments around town asking for item donations to give to her students today. The school did not ask her to do this and clearly she would receive no compensation for doing this. Her actions to me speak to unexpected kindness, and I have no doubt that providing these surprises to her students brought out the best in both of them. I know from personal experience that the educators who had the most impact on my life were those who went beyond their lesson plans in the classroom. Teaching and transforming young lives requires a personal investment, and I can't think of a better way for students to know that their teacher cares about them than by receiving needed items at a time of crisis.

As for myself, I had several different lows today. However, in the midst of this, I received an email from a friend inviting me to a party, and also letting me know that a portion of the proceeds from the jewelry that would be sold at this party would go to Mattie Miracle. This was a complete surprise to me, an unexpected kindness. To me these unexpected kindnesses are what makes life special, what makes us feel human and connected, and on difficult days, an unexpected kindness can help change one's entire perspective. May we all be the recipients of unexpected kindness as well as feel the joy of giving this surprise to someone else.  

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