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: www.mattiemiracle.com 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 9, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken on April 4, 2009.... Mattie's seventh and last birthday with us. We celebrated Mattie's birthday in the child life playroom of the hospital. Mattie was very excited to have several of his close friends visit him and he, Linda (Mattie's child life specialist) and Meg (child life intern) decorated the playroom for this special occasion. Linda ordered Georgetown Cupcakes (a local DC company) for Mattie's celebration. Knowing that Mattie disliked chocolate, all of the cupcakes were vanilla! Cupcakes have great significance to us because they were one of the food items Mattie always wanted to eat! Given that the chemo made Mattie so sick, he rarely wanted to eat. He became emaciated, yet cupcakes brought him happiness. In fact, I started baking him cupcakes at home and took them to the hospital to use as incentives to do physical therapy! I can't see a cupcake today, especially a Georgetown Cupcake, without thinking of Mattie. 


Quote of the day: In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends. ~ John Churton Collins


Tonight's quote is really very poignant. When Mattie was battling cancer, I am not sure I had expectations for any of my friends, mainly because my focus was Mattie. Yet I also knew I had a very deep and wide Team Mattie behind us, supporting us, and meeting every need and wish. So I probably did not dwell on this friendship and adversity notion. Yet who comprised or led Team Mattie? 

Now in retrospect and not in crisis, I can look at this quote and truly get the meaning behind it. Friends who I had for YEARS and YEARS, are not the ones who rose to the occasion to lead or even serve on Team Mattie. I suppose I could ask why? But I don't think there is just one simple answer to this one big question. After all, I would have hoped that friends who knew me 15 or more years and lived locally, would want to help, would know me best, and therefore, know how to mobilize forces. But it doesn't work out that way. Does that make these long term friendships any less significant now? 

In my case, the answer to this is YES. In fact, one very close friend who I met in grad school and I had known for 15 years, basically walked away from our friendship. After all those years. She told me in an email that our friendship was making her sick.... mainly because the stress of Mattie's cancer and then death was too much for her. She did not come to Mattie's funeral, nor told me we weren't friends anymore. I had to reach out to her to find out where she was and what was going on! When I did, she said to me that her husband and son advised her to sever all communication with me. I wish I was making this up or misinterpreting this, but it is the reality. 


This leads me to today's photo! This morning, we picked up a package that was left at the front deck for us yesterday. It was a dozen Georgetown Cupcakes. Even before reading the card, I knew this gift came from our friend Alison. Alison NO LONGER lives in our state, but lives out West. Yet ordered these for us to be delivered yesterday because she knew the significance of these cupcakes. 
But getting to my point, Alison and I really did not have a friendship before Mattie got sick. I knew of her, as her son was a classmate of Mattie's in kindergarten. With that said, we did not have play dates together, meet socially, and so forth. Yet Alison signed on to not only participate on Team Mattie, but to be a co-leader of the Team. Understand that this wasn't just a cute team in name only. When I say a Team, I mean practically a community. Team Mattie was comprised of 100's of people (from different networks, that all united together for the same cause), people who delivered us lunches and dinners EVERY DAY of the week for over a year. People who got Mattie gifts practically daily, who delivered me sunflowers, who coordinated a Mattie March (which later turned into the Foundation's annual walk) and also planned and coordinated Mattie's entire celebration of life ceremony after he died. This was an enormous undertaking, as it involved a full catered buffet, massive flowers, a balloon release for children, an art therapy activity for Mattie's friends, a testimonial ceremony, and an exhibit of Mattie's amazing pieces of art work (all on display, with matching placards). 

As I said to Alison, how many friendships are formed like ours? I would say it is unusual, but it also makes the bond solid. Alison saw me at my worst and never walked away. Team Mattie had two co-leaders, each with different strengths and personalities. Not knowing either one of them well, could have been daunting in the beginning, and it was, because besides helping Mattie manage treatment, I also had to get to know the two women leading his support community. Yet these two women really rallied the troops and had all our basic needs covered, and of course through this process an emotional connection unfolded. It was an intense way of getting to know two people, and I have to think the cupcakes that came yesterday are a testament to what we survived together. It is part of our history. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki,

After reading this blog, I think I have the answer to at least part of my question about friend interactions!