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

December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in February of 2009. Mattie was sitting on his hospital bed with Anna, his amazing physical therapist. It was Anna's birthday, so Mattie treated her to one of his cupcakes! 

Why did Mattie have cupcakes in his room? He had them because I would bake them for him between treatments. Cupcakes were a sweet incentive for Mattie to comply during his physical therapy sessions. By the winter of 2009, Mattie was depleted of energy, he was physically disabled (from his limb salvaging surgeries) and unable to walk or perform any activities of daily living independently. In addition, Mattie's high dosage chemotherapy left him with nausea, mouth sores, and a disinterest in eating. So he was losing a lot of weight. I know some families focus on good nutrition during cancer, but I did not espouse to this philosophy. My goal was to give Mattie anything he wanted to eat.... even cupcakes. 

Mattie loved cupcakes (non chocolate ones.... as he HATED chocolate) and would comply to use his walker and move his body for the chance to earn one. Moving was a total challenge for Mattie because he was in terrible pain, but we found distractions and incentives encouraged him at times out of his funk and into physical therapy. So the cupcake is very symbolic to me!

Quote of the day: What can I say? I've never met a cupcake I didn't want to get to know better. ~  Jasinda Wilder

Today was our annual check presentation at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. In honor of this occasion, I always bake two dozen cupcakes. In memory of Mattie. I no longer have a reason to bake cupcakes, but this check presentation provides that for me. It also gives me the opportunity to share information about Mattie's life, the importance of cupcakes and why I am sharing them with others. 

Believe it or not we have been doing a check presentation event at Georgetown since 2011. Which means we are close to donating around $200,000 to the hospital. This doesn't include the thousands of dollars we provide through gifts in kind EVERY year! In 2011, we established the Mattie Miracle Child Life Program Fund at the Hospital. A fund that we truly believe in because Mattie, Peter, and I would never have made it through the horrors of Mattie's cancer battle without this very necessary psychosocial support. We saw it work for Mattie and wanted other children at the hospital to have access to these services. Last year, we started a new initiative.... adding a child life specialist on the weekends. Prior to our funding, children and families did not have access to a child life specialist on Saturdays and Sundays. I have been told by all medical staff that this addition makes things run smoother and families are happier. 

In the past we always had the check presentation event in the child life playroom in the pediatric units. This is the first year, we moved it! I asked for it to be moved because many of the nurses and other psychosocial professionals I had come to love, have left Georgetown. When staff you know leave a place your child was treated at, it feels like another loss. A loss because with them, they take the institutional knowledge that included Mattie. Now when I walk the hallways I meet many medical professionals but most of them do not know my story or Mattie's. So when our philanthropy contacts suggested meeting before the hospital board, I agreed. In fact, the hospital board said this was the first NON-PROFIT that has ever come to speak to them! Hard to believe! But I feel it is important for them to hear from someone who directly experienced their Hospital and continues to financially support it. There were 20 board members in front of us today, and they all eagerly listened to our story. Some were crying. 

Pictured from left to right:
Tricia Grusholt (Mattie's favorite nurse), Ann Henshaw (Mattie Miracle board member), Michael Donnelly (chief of pediatrics), Vicki, Jessica (Child Life Specialist), Peter, Michael Sachtleben (Hospital president), Katie (Child Life Specialist), and Jess (Child Life Specialist)

Mattie Miracle donated $30,000 today to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's Child Life Program. We had the opportunity to talk to the executive management team of the Hospital and to meet Michael Sachtleben (Hospital President) and Dr. Michael Donnelly (Chief of Pediatrics). We shared Mattie's story, the Foundation's mission, and our commitment to psychosocially support children with cancer and their families.

This donation goes to fund a weekend child life specialist at the Hospital. Prior to the Foundation establishing this position, children and families did not have access to child life on the weekends. Child life is a necessary and vital part of comprehensive cancer care and we are thrilled to be able to provide this much needed coverage to thousands of children and families a year.

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

CONGRATULATIONS, VICKI & PETER!!! That is an enormous contribution but the greatest part is how it is used. As you know better than I, weekends are long & lonely in the hospital. Providing funds to support the weekend child life specialist carries special meaning to me!