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

March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 -- Mattie died 235 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. I happen to LOVE this photo that I captured one afternoon while Mattie was outside doing physical therapy with Anna. What you may not be able to tell here was the complex negotiations  taking place between Mattie and Anna. Mattie wasn't in the best of moods and really did not feel up to doing therapy. Anna understood that and was listening to Mattie and yet trying to inspire him by blowing bubbles and encouraging him to want to join along. Anna was one of the special women in our lives at Georgetown. Though she is no longer there, she will never be forgotten. Some people like taking photos of people smiling, and of course I like that too, but I also like capturing candids of emotions and relationships. There was a real rapport between Mattie and Anna and to me this photo captures the care, concern, and understanding between the two of them. 

Poem about friendship.... In honor of my 85 year old friend Mary

When we first talked to each other
I knew we would always be friends.
Our friendship has kept on growing
And I'll be here for you to the end.

You listen when I have a problem
And help dry the tears from my face.
You take away my sorrow
And put happiness in its place.

We can't forget the fun we've had
Laughing 'til our faces turn blue.
Talking of things only we find funny
People think we're insane-If they only knew!

I guess this is my way of saying thanks
For catching me when I fall.
Thanks once again for being such a good friend
And being here with me through it all.

It seems somewhat ironic that I lost Mattie on a Tuesday, and today, I also lost my friend Mary. I simply do not like Tuesdays! Do you think it is possible to feel deeply connected to someone you have only known for five years? Someone who was a completely different generation from you? Well I don't know what your answer would be, but mine is a resounding YES! I met Mary on her birthday in December of 2008, when she turned 80 years old. Mary and I instantly connected because while her son died from cancer, Mattie was battling it. Of course less than a year later Mattie died, and two weeks later Mary's husband became gravely ill. In reality Mary and I connected over loss. Loss of our sons and loss of her husband. At one point in time, Mary and I spent practically every day together and in some ways, I really do think we helped each other through a very difficult time. In our short but intense five years together we experienced quite a lot and laughed and cried about a lot in between. When I met Mary, she was very social and loved to talk, and that is how we got to know each other quite well. As her neurological disease took over, I slowly lost more and more of my friend with passing each year. That too was also a loss, but at the core, what bonded us together was always there. Therefore, at some point words were no longer needed. That is the beauty of a meaningful connection, a connection that I will sorely miss in my life now.

Mary was the first friend I made who truly understood what it was like to lose a child to cancer, and was open with me about how this impacted her husband, her, and her family's dynamics. In a way, when someone allows you into her life in such an intimate way, it is hard not to feel attached to them. As if they are one of your family members, and yet we are not related in the least. I will always remember our teas together, enjoying cookies and cake (we were fellow sweet tooths), learning about her life in Massachusetts, about her family, rearranging furniture and things in her rooms many many times, and of course laughing over how out of touch her husband's hospice social worker was. When this social worker would visit Mary after her husband died, the social worker was truly perplexed by both of us. She wasn't sure who to help first, me.... who just lost a son, or Mary who just lost a husband. The funny part is neither one of us wanted any part of this woman's help, not to mention condescending attitude.  

This photo was taken at Mary's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party in May of 2009. I remember this day as if it were yesterday. Mary received some beautiful roses from our friend with the same name, Mary. This photo means so much to me, that I framed it a long time ago and it sits on my dining room break front. From Mary's perspective, she referred to me as "her angel." She may not have spoken to me at the end of her life, but she always opened her eyes for me and tracked my voice. To me that was a gift, the gift of knowing that my presence mattered. Something I shall always cherish! I treasured and valued our friendship for five years and with Mary's passing a void is definitely left in my mind and heart. 


Cassandra Hostetler said...

Vicki, I'm so sorry for your friend Mary's loss. I could tell how important she had become to you - and, yes, it can happen in just 5 years, of course!

Unknown said...

So very sorry for your loss! Now Mary is off taking a care of Mattie for you!