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

May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. On either side of Mattie were his close kindergarten friends.... Charlotte and Campbell. Though Mattie is no longer alive, these children are still involved in the Foundation's life and their families are loyal supporters of Mattie Miracle. As tomorrow is the Foundation's Walk, I always reflect on this moment in time! 

Quote of the day: I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer

$86,999! Is today's fundraising total! Tomorrow is the 9th Annual Mattie Miracle Walk & Family Festival. If you are looking to get outside and to actually see the SUN, come out to Alexandria, VA from 10am to 2pm. We are located at 1000 St. Stephen's Road, Alexandria, VA! We love to personally thank our supporters for making the Mattie Miracles happen. 

May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. When Mattie attended the Mattie March held by his support community in his honor, Mattie's art therapists made him an adorable super hero cape for him to wear. I introduce you to SUPER MATTIE. I thought this was just priceless. 

Quote of the day: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead

It's been another full day, and we are on day 6 of rain. I can only hope everyone is doing their sun dance for Sunday's Mattie Miracle Walk! I am proud to say that we have surpassed our goal today and our thermometer reads.....$86,198! We thank all of our sponsors and supporters for making this happen! 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009 at the Mattie March. Pictured next to Mattie is Zachary. Mattie and Zachary met the first day of preschool, and became inseparable buddies from day one. Mattie and Zachary had a very physically active friendship, yet when Mattie was diagnosed with cancer, his ability to run and play changed. That could have impacted their friendship but it didn't. It didn't because Zachary found a way to make it work! In fact, on the day of the Mattie March, Zachary stayed close to his buddy for the entire event. What this photo proves to me is that some things are more powerful than cancer.

Quote of the day: I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.Charles de Lint

It's 1am, and we are still up and working. But wanted to report today's Walk total.... $84,885!
My entire first floor is covered with Walk materials! Pop up tents and a first aid kit.... Get the picture?!
Posters and signage about childhood cancer and the Foundation! Corn hole boards too!
These boxes contain over 5,000 colorful plastic cups! Cups are earned by walkers. Each lap, you get a cup! The cups are then placed in our challenge wall (a chain link fence) and it makes a wonderful visual of unity. Walking together to raise money for childhood cancer. 
Posters and a giant connect four lawn game! 
This photo takes the cake!!! Sunny has had it with all the work and change going on in our home. He doesn't like the fact that his dog bed has been moved and replaced with a cart. 

May 16, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009, at the Mattie March. I did not take this photo, my friend Christine did and sent it to me. To me this photo is priceless because Mattie was sandwiched between his two closest kindergarten buddies, Charlotte and Campbell. These children always joked that they were going to go to college together! Ironically, the moms of these children are still present in our lives today and volunteer and financially support the Foundation. Mattie is no longer physically with us, but the connections he made are still alive and well.  

Quote of the day: To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. ~ Abraham Lincoln

It's been another whirlwind of a day, with Sunday fast approaching! Tonight's blog is short and simple, our thermometer reports $82,581 or in other words we have reached 97% of our Walk goal! 

May 15, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 -- Mattie died 452 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. This was at the Mattie March. The March was held close to Mother's Day weekend, so there were all sorts of crafts and activities for children to make a keep sake for their moms. As you can see, Mattie was at the craft table creating with two of my students, Ariel and Tess. Ironically, Ariel is now a pediatric oncology nurse in NYC. She credits Mattie for influencing her career choice. Mattie accomplished a lot in his seven years!

Quote of the day: Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water - it will make ripples throughout the entire pond. ~ Jessy and Bryan Matteo

Today's Walk & Family Festival total is $79,059 or we are at 93% of our goal. 
You maybe asking yourself, who is this cute little girl? This is Charlotte. Who is Charlotte? Charlotte is my friend Margaret's granddaughter. Margaret was Mattie's preschool teacher and she was such a special person, that we became instantaneous friends in 2005. Unfortunately Margaret is no longer with us, as she died from ALS in 2014. Margaret was a huge supporter of Mattie Miracle. In fact, she found us our first corporate sponsor of the Walk, and once you have one it is easier to find others. Margaret would volunteer to help me at every Walk, which is why this photo sent to me today is priceless. Margaret's daughter, Ali, and her granddaughter Charlotte are continuing Margaret's tradition of supporting Mattie Miracle.  

The lady you see on the left of this photo is Debbie. Debbie's son, Tim, and Mattie were in kindergarten together. In fact, Mattie and Tim practically share a birthday. Their birthdays are only one day a part from each other. 

Debbie has organized kid activities at the Walk for nine years now. A labor of love and dedication. This year, not only did she brainstorm the activity but she is coordinating the prep work for these craft tables with two girl scout troops. One is a Cadette troop, comprised of three girls who are in middle school and the other is a troop of elementary school girls. So clearly two very different age groups to be working together, and yet the elementary and middle school girls can learn from each other. It is wonderful to see that they have united forces to make the craft activity as eye catching as possible at the Walk. 

Clearly the older girls in this photo are the Cadettes, and it is lovely that they reached out to me, asking whether they could help at the Walk. The girls are trying to obtain their Silver Award with the Girl Scouts. To qualify for this award, the girls need to find an issue within the community that interests them. Then they need to create an executable project to meet a need. In this case, the Cadettes chose childhood cancer and the Walk provides them a way to help us spread awareness, but in a non-threatening yet fun manner.

May 14, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. Mattie was at the Mattie March, an event his support community hosted for him. The School's baseball team participated in the event and each team player fist pumped Mattie and then they gave him a signed team ball. 

Though this Sunday will be our ninth annual Walk hosted by the Foundation, being on the track brings me right back to 2009. It doesn't matter how many years go by. I remember in 2015, talking to Jocelyn's mom at our Walk. Jocelyn also battled osteosarcoma and she was a good friend and mentor for Mattie. However, Jocelyn died in 2014, and when her mom came to our Annual Walk, she became overwhelmed as she reported to feel her daughter's presence around the track. Jocelyn attended every Foundation walk, until the year she died. She was committed to Mattie and our cause. The reason I am telling you about Jocelyn's mom, is because she articulated exactly how I feel each May at our event. 

Quote of the day: Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Here is the Mattie Miracle Walk total for today....$77,955 or 92% of our goal!

Meanwhile in addition to running every chore possible today, I also factored in a visit to the vet. I have noticed that Sunny has been eating a ton of grass daily. Almost like a cow or a goat. I have never seen Sunny do this before, and in addition to that he appears to not want to eat, and is refusing treats. Totally not like Sunny, since he is a eater!!! I spent an hour in the vet's office, as she did an x-ray to rule out tumors of intestinal blockages. Fortunately the x-rays came out clear. But while I was waiting for the results, in a room by myself, it brought me right back in time to July of 2008, when Mattie was diagnosed. I can recall vividly waiting in a hospital holding room, for the results of Mattie's x-rays. It is almost like my mind has a reflex when it comes to health issues and the reflex tells my body and mind to prepare to hear the worst. Thankfully that did not happen today, but we still don't know what is causing Sunny to feel ill. Tomorrow we should get his blood and stool sample results back. But in the mean time the vet gave Sunny two shots. One was of pepcid and the other an anti-nausea drug. Now I don't know if this is coincidental or not, but I have the same symptoms of Sunny, just not eating grass OF COURSE. Could Sunny be picking up on my own anxieties and stress over this Walk? Well with Sunny, I don't put anything passed him.

As if today wasn't enough excitement, we then had a horrific wind and rain storm in the vening. The sky turned an ominous color. 

Sunny does not like storms, particularly the thunder. When he hears thunder, he heads right for my walk in closet. He sat there for a while, but then just couldn't take the sound anymore. It was making him very anxious. So next thing I knew, he was standing next to me and then he burrowed his way under my feet and desk! There he remained until the storm ended. 

May 13, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. Mattie was four years old. That day, Peter and Mattie took me out to brunch for Mother's Day. We always went to a restaurant that Mattie liked and this particular restaurant handed out flowers or a plant to every mom. Frankly there is NO WAY you can get me to a restaurant on Mother's Day now. For multiple reasons. One, I do not like seeing moms out and about with their children celebrating and I also don't want to be asked the question.... are you a mom?! Depending on my mood, there are a whole host of answers I can give you. 

Quote of the day: A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. Agatha Christie

I begin most Mother's Day blog postings with the origin of Mother's Day (below). Mainly because our mainstream and rose colored world has striped down the history of this holiday. Mother's Day is all about flowers, cards, and gifts. But this is NOT why the holiday was created. It was instead created as a day of remembrance for a mom who died, and a grieving daughter left behind. 

The origin of Mother's Day in the US: In the United States, Mother's Day did not become an official holiday until 1915. Its establishment was due largely to the perseverance and love of one daughter, Anna Jarvis. Anna's mother had provided strength and support as the family made their home in West Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where her father served as a minister. As a girl, Anna had helped her mother take care of her garden, mostly filled with white carnations, her mother's favorite flower. When Mrs. Jarvis died on May 5, 1905, Anna was determined to honor her. She asked the minister at her church in West Virginia to give a sermon in her mother's memory. On the same Sunday in Philadelphia, their minister honored Mrs. Jarvis and all mothers with a special Mother's Day service. Anna Jarvis began writing to congressmen, asking them to set aside a day to honor mothers. In 1910, the governor of West Virginia proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day and a year later every state celebrated it.

It's a mother's day tradition in our home, where Peter starts up our two garden fountains! Peter and Mattie created these fountains for me in July of 2008, actually days before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. Mattie knew I loved fountains and he suggested that he and Peter make me two for my birthday. Now years later, the fountains are still going strong and they always remind me of Mattie. 
This is the second fountain they made me. As you can see, I placed all kinds of shells in this fountain. Some were collected by Mattie initially, and then others were ones I found since he died. 

Meanwhile, today was ALL work. Or I should say ALL WALK! I am not sure what is better to work the day away or to be focused on the significance of the day. Because our event is next weekend, I have no down time to focus on anything, which I suppose for now is a good thing. Yet everything I push aside while working on the Walk, does come back to bite me post-Walk. Needless to say, I took a break and walked Sunny by the Potomac River today. Not the greatest of plans as families were all out and about celebrating Mother's Day. It is a sight I truly do not care to see. As it only serves as a reminder of what is missing in my life. While so many are out celebrating, I am planning an awareness event that keeps alive the memory of our dead son. Rather quite an irony. 

However, I realize this day isn't only hard for me. There are children who don't have a mom alive to share the day with, there are women who have never been able to have children, and there are women who have lost children in all sorts of ways (miscarriages, accidents, disease, etc). So I am aware of the multitude of pain to go around, and I suspect for the vast majority of us who live with these losses, we retreat from the world today and try to regroup.