Mattie Miracle Walk 2023 was a $131,249 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

September 20, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2007. This is one of my favorite photos I ever took of Mattie. It was taken at Butler's Orchard in Maryland. We took Mattie one weekend to Pumpkinville, to pick his own pumpkins off the vine. As you can see Mattie picked a beauty and I captured that moment in time. Ironically today we attended a national childhood cancer event on the National Mall in Washington, DC. At the event, I wore an awareness ribbon and a big picture button of Mattie, that featured this photo. At the event, I had to go into the Air and Space Museum to use the restroom. In order to enter the museum, you need to go through security and a metal detector. As soon as the security man saw my Mattie button, he announced that I was wearing the photo of a beautiful child. I in two minutes told him about Mattie's story and that I was attending a childhood cancer rally right outside the museum. I have to say he handled it VERY WELL! Better than most people I know. I would have to say that this happenstance interaction may have been one of my MOST memorable moments of today!!! Sometimes you can feel when someone gets the magnitude of what you are saying, without them having to say much. He was that kind of person!

Quote of the day: At some of the darkest moments in my life, some people I thought of as friends deserted me-some because they cared about me and it hurt them to see me in pain; others because I reminded them of their own vulnerability, and that was more than they could handle. But real friends overcame their discomfort and came to sit with me. If they had not words to make me feel better, they sat in silence (much better than saying, "You'll get over it," or "It's not so bad; others have it worse") and I loved them for it. ~ Harold Kushner

We walked from our home today to Curefest on the National Mall. Keep in mind that is three miles each way, and in tow we have a wheeled cart that was filled with all of our Foundation table items that we were going to feature at the event. Curefest is a national childhood cancer awareness event, that entails a three mile walk and family festival. It provides a venue in which the childhood cancer community can unite together with one voice. 

At the event there was a tribute wall, filled with photos of children who are battling the disease, survivors, or have died. Mattie's photo was on the panel on the left, at the bottom. 

A close up of Mattie's tribute

One of the foundations that attended created this wonderful GOLD superstar and encouraged people to take photos with it! 

This is the back of the Curefest t-shirt. Mattie Miracle was a proud Bronze Sponsor! 

When we got to the mall and began setting up, it was cool and extremely windy! It made for a very challenging set up. Fortunately I brought packing tape with us, and we literally taped everything down!

We had help today under our Foundation Tent. We learned last year that we needed to bring help for part of the hours this year. Otherwise we really can't leave our tent. So helping us were two of our board members, Tamra Bentsen and Ann Henshaw. Along with Ann's aunt Helen, and her daughter Abbie. Also featured in the photo is Lerin Raines. Lerin is the newest member to the child life staff at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, a position that Mattie Miracle fully funds. Pictured left to right: Tamra, Lerin, Vicki, Abbie, Ann, and Helen

We met our newest friend today. We met Margy
on Facebook, as she follows our postings faithfully and always has incredible insights and compassion to share with us. Margy is a play therapist by training and has helped hundreds of families over the course of her career. The beautiful part about Margy is she understands the importance of psychosocial support and that this support shouldn't end when the family's relationship with the hospital does. It was wonderful to put a face with a name today! 
Pictured left to right: Ken (Margy's husband), Margy, Lerin, Vicki, Abbie, and Helen 

In the tent next to us was the Chris Lantos Foundation. Ilona (the co-founder of the Chris Lantos Foundation) and I have been friends since 2013, when Chris, her only child died from Leukemia. 
The young girl featured with us is named Victoria. Victoria is working with Ilona as an intern. One of the wonderful attractions at their tent was this adorable R2D2 from Star Wars. It was a very popular stop for young and old alike, and even dogs got a kick of the sounds it made. 

The three mile walk taking place around the Mall. 

Another perspective of the Walk!

Throughout this five hour event, there were presentations, singers, poetry read, stories told, and bands that played. 
This husband and wife team visited our tent last year and came back to find us this year. They live in New York and faithfully read our postings and support the work that we do. Lisa added Mattie's name to her t-shirt today. She walked in honor of all of these children. 

Peter snapped a photo of me with the Capitol way in the background, and as you can see there were many white Foundation tents dotting the walking track. 

So I already told you about my chance encounter with a security guard at the museum. But another and unexpected moment occurred while I was at the event. I was crossing the field to come back to my tent, and I saw a dad that I know (he too lost his son to cancer) standing in the middle of the field all by himself and crying. Not just a tear or two, but sobbing. As I approached him, I saw that NO ONE was paying a bit of attention to him or giving him the time of day. Mind you we were at a childhood cancer event where the attendees are mostly families touched by cancer. So the fact that no one stopped to talked to him, further stunned me. I must admit, my first reaction was to to pass him by, which is what I did and figured he needed to be by himself. But as I almost got to my tent, I turned around and he was still distraught. So I headed right back to him. I literally said to him that I came over because I thought he could use a hug. Which is what I did and he freely accepted it. Now that could have been the end of the encounter, but it wasn't. Instead, I was able to learn more about this dad's true feelings about grief. Feelings that I relate to wholeheartedly. However, these are feelings many people aren't courageous enough to admit to. So though I went back to offer my support to this man, what happened was we shared a meeting of the minds and hearts and to me that was one of the most powerful experiences of the day. 

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