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

January 23, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in October of 2008. Mattie was in kindergarten and his class received a pumpkin gift from a parent. Look how large that pumpkin was? Mattie was clearly intrigued as he was sitting right behind it, most likely checking it out!

Quote of the day: We're all unique, just never in the ways we imagine. Kate Morton

I have been reflecting on yesterday's colloquium at Mattie's school! Lots of thoughts come to mind. One of which is unlike the other 34 presenters, our issue was very personal for us. Our work isn't just a job or an area that we chose to focus on. Rather our mission arose out of the loss of a child. This subtly certainly was lost on the age group we presented to, but it certainly was very apparent to me. Starting with the educator who was the key note speaker. Though I can respect that she is a history professor and has done extensive research and publishing, she hasn't had to create something from the ground up. Like Mattie Miracle! This difference may not be important for the nature of the colloquium, but it definitely needs to be taken into account. 

But I guess my overall question is can you teach teens the importance and relevance of volunteerism and community service? I certainly know high schools and colleges work hard to do this, as they build this into the curriculum and require students to obtain many hours of service within the community in order to graduate. Yet I think we are confusing kids because instead of this being something fun, something that makes us feel good about ourselves, it instead has become a chore. Something to check off one's list, in order to meet an educational objective. So in essence making service mandatory, in my opinion, hasn't accomplished what it set out to do. 

Do I think the kids who had to attend the colloquium yesterday were happy about it? Did they appreciate that members of the community would be coming in to chat with them, and in turn they would have a different experience at school that day? I would say the answer to both questions was no. Or at least no for the majority of students. 

When I went to school, community service was not mandatory. However, in high school my mom suggested that I volunteer at a hospital, which I did for several years. I did it because I liked it, not because I got anything tangible from it. The main difference is I was introduced to service by a suggestion from my mom. After which, the decision to continue was purely driven by internal motivators. I truly believe internal motivators are always more meaningful and stronger than external ones, and I hope in time, schools take this into account. 

Switching topics, the students yesterday were truly shocked to learn that childhood cancer is random, rather than it being caused by genetics or the environment. Given this misconception, I thought it would be helpful to post on the blog the current thinking on how children develop cancer.....

All cancers, including those in adults, occur when the DNA in a cell mutates or changes. The body typically kills this new cell before it can cause any damage.
However, in the case of cancer, the mutated cell keeps growing and splitting into more cells. Cancer cells grow and divide much faster than healthy cells. They can spread throughout the body, sometimes causing tumors.

What causes this mutated cell? In children, it’s unclear.

But most childhood cancers are not caused by inherited DNA changes. They are the result of DNA changes that happen early in the child’s life, sometimes even before birth. Every time a cell divides into 2 new cells, it must copy its DNA. This process isn’t perfect, and errors sometimes occur, especially when the cells are growing quickly. This kind of gene mutation can happen at any time in life and is called an acquired mutation. Acquired mutations start in one cell. That cell then passes the mutation on to all the cells that come from it. 

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