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

June 10, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2005. We took Mattie to the Elizabethan Garden in Manteo, NC. If you look closely, Mattie had something in his hand. I bet it was a penny that I gave him to throw into the fountain. We always kept Mattie busy and stimulated, as he had an inordinate amount of energy and brain power, that needed positive outlets to be expended!

Quote of the day: Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions. ~ Peter Hoeg

This is our view from the deck this morning. The trifecta.... kayak, dolphin and pelicans. 
We went to visit the Elizabethan Gardens today. The same gardens in which tonight's photo of Mattie was taken. Fanciful and elaborate gardens were kept to entertain Queen Elizabeth I during her reign. This garden was created as a living memorial to the time when Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists lived in this very place over 400 years ago. 

In 1950, Mrs. Charles Cannon, wife of the North Carolina philanthropist; Mrs. Inglis Fletcher, a North Carolinian and noted historian and author; and Sir Evelyn Wrench, Founder of the English Speaking Union, and Lady Wrench, were visiting Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and The Lost Colony outdoor drama on Roanoke Island. The idea came to them to ask The Garden Club of North Carolina, a non-profit organization of 17,000 women, to sponsor a two-acre garden on a ten-acre tract adjoining Fort Raleigh National Park. It was their thinking that the creation of a cultural attraction such as a garden would enhance the value of this area as a permanent memorial to Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists. This Garden grown since its creation in 1950, and it a charming and historic place for beauty and tranquility. 

Colorful flowers and foliage surround you.
There are at least three fountains within these Gardens. Something Mattie always gravitated to. 
This is a flower that gets many visitors' attention..... it is the snowcap hydrangea. It looks flat like a snowflake, not round like your typical round shaped flowering hydrangea. 
This is a towering bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth I, of whom these gardens are named and inspired by. 
The beauty of the gardens, filled with Italian masterpieces. Italians are proud of their classical art, especially the carved marble statues and ornamentals in their historic areas. Several decades ago, Mrs. Mildred Howard astonished Italians with photos of their beautiful statues tucked within the lush green landscape of a North Carolina sound-side garden. Howard served as board chair of the Manteo, NC attraction in 1957 and 1964 and used a visit abroad to pursue her curiosities. The Italian historians she consulted were unaware these treasures had been relocated to America.
 In 1953 The Elizabethan Gardens received several museum-quality Italian statues including a fountain with a pool, wellhead, sundial, birdbaths, stone steps and benches. They were a gift from the Whitney family estate. Gilded-age socialite and famed architectural designer Stanford White imported the items from Pompeii in 1906 for the family as a showcase for their Greenwood Estate in Thomasville Georgia.

The Gardens are filled with beautiful hydrangeas. 
After the Gardens, we drove into the town of Manteo. It is a charming little town on the water. The town is filled with shops and restaurants. All the shops feature items either made in North Carolina or the United States. 
One of the charming streets of Manteo. 
It's a boaters paradise in Manteo. No body is running around, glued to their phone, and disengaged. People seem to enjoy life better than we do in our major cities. 
Right in front of this store front, was this priceless calico cat. 

After two weeks of posting photos of the Mattie Miracle Walk, I can say that tonight concludes the photos. 

Two days before the Walk I was contacted by Sarah Kelly, who is a clothing vendor with LuLu Roe. She asked if she could showcase her items at the Walk. I agreed to have her attend and she and her husband had a great time. Both lost their first spouse to cancer, so I think our Mattie Miracle mission has meaning to them.

For the first time, we had a carnival style photo booth at the Walk. People could go in the booth, put on costumes, and take photos. The nice part, was that a tangible keepsake photo was provided to participants. 
This is a picture of a picture, but it gives you an idea of the keepsake people went home with. Featured in this photo is Morganne (the Mattie Miracle funded child life specialist at Georgetown University Hospital) and Jane (our philanthropy contact at the Hospital). 

June 9, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2004. We took Mattie to the Outer Banks that summer. This was his second trip to the beach. Regardless, Mattie did not like the water and he was frightened of the crashing surf along the shore. You can see Mattie's displeasure with being by the water and our attempt to take a family photo. 

Despite Mattie's caution about the sea, he did enjoy playing in the sand. Which was a vast improvement from the summer before. What we learned about Mattie was he was going to do things on his own timeline and not that of others. We saw this time and time again whether we were talking about walking, talking, toileting, etc!

Quote of the day: Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. ~ Seneca

Despite the depressing weather we had for two days, last night a BRIGHT full Mattie Moon came out. The light was so bold, it seemed to cut right through the clouds and rain. Look how it shimmered on the ocean! We could see all of this from our deck. 
When you lose a child to cancer and go on vacation there are a host of emotions that do ensue. I don't care how many years have gone by since the death, there are some things that time doesn't help, heal, or change. 

Vacations are a time in which you see families together, and it is very apparent what is missing. Mattie of course. 

So last night it was rather symbolic that in the midst of our down moments, Mattie Moon would come on the scene to remind us that he is still with us.  
Mattie Moon trying to fight back the clouds and wind. 
It's wonderful to see a Mattie Moon on the ocean. 
Today the sun came back out! Which was truly a wonderful sight after two very depressingly cold and rainy days. We booked tickets to go on a wild horse adventure tour. I have always wanted to do this, since this barrier island is known to house horses that date back 500 years. When the Spanish come to North Carolina to explore and settle, they brought with them Colonial Spanish Mustangs. The only way to see these creatures is by taking a four wheel drive vehicle onto Carova Beach. This beach is literally like a highway on the sand. Traffic goes two ways here and they aren't driving on the sand to just see the horses. There are two communities of houses out here. I can't imagine accessing my home by this journey, but clearly people do it and they have also found a way to co-exist with the wild horses. 

This was the four wheel drive vehicle that took us on tour. It sat 14 people and once on the beach, it drove us 11 miles down the beach and through sand dunes to see these wild creatures. What keeps the horses contained to this horse sanctuary are fences. The horses have gotten used to eating the vegetation along the beach and are unable to digest anything that a typical horse would eat as a treat, like apples, carrots, etc. These horses are considered feral and you have to remain 50 feet away from them, which is challenging if you are a beach goer, because we saw some people getting closer to them to try to get pictures with the horses. 

As soon as the vehicle entered the beach sanctuary, these lovely creatures greeted us!
I learned today that horses live in harems with the male stallion acquires as many female horses into his fold as possible. In this photo, the black horse is the male and the others his females. 
These mustangs are everywhere from the beach to the dunes. Of course our guide did explain that sometimes it is more challenging than others to find these horses when on tour. NOT today, they were out and about. The guide says the horses seek refuge when it rains, so I imagine they were happy the sun was out and they could roam freely today.
More mustangs! There are only 100 mustangs left on the island. 
This male horse was given the nickname, Ringo. After the Beatles, Ringo Star. Notice the white star on his forehead, which is how he got his name! This fellow has quite a reputation with the tour guides and he apparently is known to have the largest harem in the pack. 

More Walk photos! Tonight the photos feature our registration area. We had over 60 volunteers at the Walk to help us manage and run all of our activities. One of the challenging places to work at the Walk is at the registration tent. Our registration volunteers processed 400 of our attendees. My lifetime friend, Karen is on the left. She runs our volunteer check in station at registration which is vital, because these individuals need to be processed into our event and directed to where they will be working. Without our volunteers it would be impossible to host such a large event. 

Herman, our photographer, captured Jane and her son Jake picking up items at registration. Jane is a key member of our Walk committee, a team captain, and one of the handful of people I rely on to increase walk attendance and generate revenue. 
Greeting me at registration was Lexi. Lexi is a college student at Virginia Tech and has been physically ill for a year. I have been trying to help her from afar get back to health. As a thank you for supporting her, she brought me a vase full of sunflowers.
This is David and his daughter. They were first time attendees at our walk. David won the second prize at our corn hole tournament, and I heard they loved our event.  
Two of our volunteers working under the registration tent!

June 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2004. Mattie was two years old and in the Outer Banks for a second summer. Mattie never went too far away from his sippy cup. Which was why it was in many photographs. However, another reason I love this photo was it captured how dynamic Mattie was. He was never one to sit idly by observing. Instead his arms and body were usually in motion, as he absorbed the world around him. This was true about Mattie from the moment he was born. 

Quote of the day: The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are. ~ Samuel Johnson

Each morning we check in on Sunny. I am grateful that Dogtopia has a web camera, but they also text message me daily with Sunny updates! Check it out.... Sunny is sitting on the race car bed, next to the human pack leader. I remember the last time Sunny was boarded at Dogtopia, he spent many days staring at the door and pacing the room. Now he seems more comfortable. Bottom line is I know he is safe, in a clean environment, and with people who love dogs. 

Because of the horrific weather today (raining, 20mph winds, and cool temperatures) we went antique shopping. At one of the stores was this big orange cutie.... named Buffalo. I spoke to the store keeper about her. Buffalo is 14 years old. She has had a tough life, as her owner was killed in a car accident and basically abandoned. She was attacked by other cats until the local store owners adopted her. They cover her medical bills as well. 
On our way back to the condo, we saw our resident bunny in front of the property. 
As it is easy to get stir crazy, we tried to walk on the beach this afternoon. NO ONE is on it mainly because of the whipping winds. It makes it feel like 50 degrees by the water. 

Peter snapped a photo of me by the "NO swimming" signs. The life and rescue people have been driving up and down the beach for the past two days posting signs. 
I took a photo of Peter and was trying to capture the height of the waves. They were huge and ominous. 
This was what it looked like from the shore line. 
We have never seen the Outer Banks like this and the store owners are telling us how unusual this is for this time of year. 
The water is as grey as the sky. It is ironic though, because the movie theater and stores are loving this weather. The cold and rain drives people away from the water and into town. 

Back to the Walk! I have been posting photos for almost two weeks now. Tonight's photos feature our chaos obstacle course inflatable. This inflatable was popular with all ages. You can also see many of our sponsor posters attached to the chain link fence in front of the inflatable. 
There were actual lines to get into the inflatable. 

These girls are in high school and gymnasts, and loved jumping around in this inflatable. 

Adorable photo, no?

The inflatable featured many slides!
Sliding fun.