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

May 27, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2003, during our first trip with Mattie to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That year Mattie wasn't interested in the ocean, but he sure was fascinated with the house's deck and HOSE! He had more fun splashing around in puddles and moving the hose around. He had me laughing because he had the ocean in his backyard, but instead preferred the yellow hose. The following year we took Mattie back to the beach and he absolutely loved the surf and sand by that point. 

Quote of the day: Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. ~ Mark Twain

We are in Emerald Isle, which is a town in Carteret County, North Carolina. It is an East West isle (you can see it in this map starting with Emerald Isle and going East to Atlantic Beach). Emerald Isle is part of the Crystal Coast (by the way, this was a name invented by the tourism industry, it has nothing to do with terrain or the findings on the terrain) and is located entirely on the Bogue Banks. The population is around 3,705, but as many as 50,000 visitors inhabit the area during the summer season, filling up vacant rental properties. The oceanfront is lined with both large and small homes. While there is a scattering of condominiums, there are no oceanfront hotels, and Emerald Isle has maintained a family-oriented atmosphere.
From about 1 AD to colonial times, Emerald Isle was home to Native Americans. Later, the area was settled by a small number of whalers and fishermen. In the 1920s Henry Fort, who owned the Emerald Isle beaches and land surrounding them, hoped to open a large summer tourist attraction and ocean resort. Fort worked with developers, but the plans never materialized. After his death, his daughter Anita Maulick inherited Emerald Isle.
In 1951, seven individuals purchased the 12-mile stretch of island for $350,000 from Anita Maulick. Emerald Isle was sliced into 54 blocks of 1,000 feet, each going from ocean to sound. The partners drew from a hat for the ownership of blocks. Because they wanted Emerald Isle to be family-oriented, the owners limited commercial development and mobile homes to five blocks each.
In 1960 ferry service began, and provided wider access to the Bogue Banks beaches of modern-day Emerald Isle. In 1971 the Cameron Langston Bridge was opened to provide access from Cedar Point to the western end of Bogue Banks and Emerald Isle. The opening of the bridge increased island development.

There seems to be night and day difference between the Outer Banks and Emerald Isle. These barrier islands are not geographically far away from each other but they have very distinctive styles. For years I have wanted to visit Emerald Isle. Why? Most likely we can blame the author Nicholas Sparks for my interest and love for this region. I will never forget how I started reading Sparks books. In the summer of 1997, I had my friend Leslie and several of our college friends come visit me in Los Angeles. We got together to celebrate Leslie's engagement. Our gathering was my maid of honor gift to Leslie. While we were all gathered together, our friend Audrey started talking to me about Sparks' book, The Notebook. Unlike Audrey, I did not enjoy reading for pleasure. Mostly because in all of my graduate work, I had to read non-stop, and therefore, whenever I got a break, I took a NO READING policy! Yet that particular day Audrey was recounting the tale that Sparks spun about a husband caring for his wife with Alzheimer's disease and his love for her and his devotion of recording their lives together in a notebook. She intrigued me enough to want to buy the book and read it. The rest is history. I have read every Sparks book he has written and the beauty of his books is they are always set in North Carolina. The notion that I now will see many of the cities I have read about through his eyes intrigues me. So in a round about way, I wouldn't be interested in Emerald Isle if it weren't for Leslie's engagement and my friend Audrey, who was studying to be a librarian. 

Peter and I started our morning with a wonderful 8am dolphin sighting! Right from our deck!!! The dolphins continued to swim around our area all day long since there were trawlers netting for fish. These were very smart dolphins who trailed after these boats and shared in the fish that were captured in the nets. 

Patsy Pond Nature Trail is part of Croatan National Forest. It winds through an area referred to as Longleaf Pine Flat Woods, which is an open woodland of longleaf pines with low growing herbs and shrubs. This morning Peter and I ventured to this Pond and walked close to 3 miles through this amazing trail.

Along the trail, we came across Bob's Sinkhole. I had NO idea what a sinkhole was until today! Bob’s Sinkhole is a Cover-Collapse sinkhole. Conditions for a cover-collapse sinkhole happen slowly over time. As the hole in the limestone grows, a layer of clay and sand is left bridging the hole. The clay layer can completely collapse if stretched too thin and too much weight is applied from above, or if too much groundwater is drained from the area. Although these subsurface changes occur slowly over time, the surface collapse can occur suddenly, resulting in a sinkhole.

Here is a beautiful picture of the scrub oak and pines we walked through!

The wonderful surprise we saw was this gorgeous Red-headed Woodpecker! He is so boldly patterned and he has been been nicknamed the “flying checkerboard,” with an entirely crimson head, a snow-white body, and half white, half inky black wings. These birds don’t act quite like most other woodpeckers: they’re adept at catching insects in the air, and they eat lots of acorns and beech nuts, often hiding away extra food in tree crevices for later. This magnificent species has declined severely in the past half-century because of habitat loss and changes to its food supply.

In addition to catching insects by the normal woodpecker method of hammering at wood, Red-headed Woodpeckers also catch insects in flight and hunt for them on the ground. They also eat considerable amounts of fruit and seeds. Their raspy calls are shriller and scratchier than the Red-bellied Woodpecker’s (the woodpeckers we see on Roosevelt Island in DC).

To live up to the trail's name, here is Patsy pond! The pond is huge but there was NOT even one bird in or around it! It struck me as very odd. 

In honor of Mattie, I picked up a very large and beautiful pine cone and took it home with me. 

This afternoon, we visited Morehead City, which is considered the gem of the Crystal Coast of North Carolina! Morehead City is the largest town in Carteret County. We had lunch at Captain Bill's, which is a restaurant Jenny, my zumba teacher, told me about. Peter and I ate outside on the deck of the restaurant facing the Sound. We watched boats and a ton of bird traffic. In fact, on a corner of the deck, they allow patrons to feed the seagulls, which is an absolute sight to see. These birds are aggressive and what I love about them is they always sound like they are laughing. Which maybe why they are affectionately called the laughing gull!!! This restaurant has been around since 1938, and everyone working inside of it couldn't be friendlier!

The restaurant gave us a basket of hush puppies, which was a lovely cornmeal treat! However, we had a few left over and I encouraged Peter to feed the seagulls. So here is a photo of Peter in action!

I end tonight's posting with several BAND photos from our Mattie Miracle Walk. We are very grateful to all the kids and teens who helped us raise money in support of  childhood cancer!!! This photo is the vendor table we set up to feature the CDs from our guest teen artist, Keira Moran. Keira graciously donated 100% of her CD sale proceeds to Mattie Miracle on the day of the Walk!

Here is a photo of Keira Moran in action at the Walk!

This is photo of the middle school girl band entitled, Neon Laces!

This is a close up photo of the middle school boy band, Spork!

A close up of Gracie Stephenson! Gracie is in high school and also writes her own music. 

Here is a photo of The Confusements! I totally love the name of this group. I can relate to it even on a good day. 

Last but not least is a photo of Fusebox. In fact, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet two of the musicians from Fusebox before the Walk. These two boys are students at Mattie's school and they worked very hard to set up the sound and equipment on the day of the event!

A BIG THANK YOU to all our artists!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and your hard work on the annual walk.