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 25, 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken on Christmas of 2008, our last Christmas with Mattie. Friends had dropped off these cute hats, noses, and headbands. Peter was working hard to get Mattie laughing and trying to divert his attention from pain and fear. As you can see Peter was successful, but this moment was fleeting. Christmas 2008 was a very difficult time, as it was around that point that Mattie had all his limb salvaging surgeries completed and as a result of treatment and surgeries developed medical traumatic stress. We kept reporting his symptoms but his medical team kept telling us that it was Mattie's reaction to the pain meds. NOT TRUE, it wasn't medical, it was a psychosocial response to enduring cancer treatment and living 24/7 in a hospital. 

Quote of the day: For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.Robert Louis Stevenson

The ship docked on the island of St. Kitts today. St. Kitts has a sister island, Nevis. Not unlike Antigua, who sister island is Barbuda. Though St. Kitts has more infrastructure than Antigua, it has only 51,000 inhabitants on the island. 

St. Kitts and Nevis became independent from England in 1983, however, back in 1623, St. Kitts was divided. Half of it was owned by France and the other half by Britain. 

Check out what was hanging out in the trees! Ibis, a large sized white bird. There were hundreds of them in these prickly trees. Smart birds as these trees protect them from predators. 

We saw chickens, dogs, and even lambs roaming around freely! Our guide, "Sir Winston," told us that you can easily distinguish a lamb from a goat! Lambs have tails down and goats have tails up!

Sir Winston told us that you can drive the WHOLE island of St. Kitts in 30 minutes. Perhaps, but I assure you it wouldn't be an easy drive. The roads are VERY windy and narrow. It is hard to imagine that these roads accept two way traffic. Clearly you have to have some knowledge of the terrain so you don't drive right off the road.

Our first stop was to Romney Manor and the Caribelle Batik Shop. Romney Manor is the oldest sugar plantation on St. Kitts. It was once owned by Sam Jefferson II, an ancestor of President Thomas Jefferson. 

On this property you can find the Batik Shop. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. This technique originated from Indonesia. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. 

There are artisans on hand to walk you through the process of how these beautiful pieces are created (many of which take days to produce by hand) and then an amazing store filled with all sorts of items. Everyone working in the store is very knowledgeable and super helpful. 
My mom and I outside the shop! Can you see the big tapestries of Batik behind us?

We then toured Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. The majestic fortress, is also known as "The Gibraltar of the West Indies." Recognized by UNESCO as an "outstanding, well-preserved example of 17th and 18th century military architecture," the fort is a monument to the ingenuity of the British military engineers who designed it and to the skill, strength and endurance of the African slaves who built and maintained it.

The engineers, who designed the fort, made use of the natural topography of this double-peaked, steep volcanic hill rising 754 feet. They say that you have to walk up 50 steps to get to the top of the fortress. That maybe true, but these were not easy steps. One woman fell on the steps while climbing up, as the incline is deceptive.

St. Kitts was the first West Indian Island to be colonized by Europeans, specifically the French and English, was the scene of many battles in the struggle for dominance in this region. The earliest use of Brimstone Hill for European military purposes was in 1690 when the British installed a canon to drive out the French. The fortress evolved over the next century and served until 1853 when the British military abandoned it and dismantled many of the buildings.

This photo was taken from where the bus left us off. We walked from the bus all the way up to the fortress.  Do you see a wall curving up the hill? Behind that wall are the 50 steps! 
This is what you see at the top! The center of this fortress is called the citadel! What you may not be able to determine from seeing this photo was that there were NO handrails anywhere. So if I walked a couple of feet forward, there would be nothing stopping me from falling hundreds of feet below.  
A couple took a photo of the three of us at the top of the fortress. Honestly the walk up in the heat was so intense that many people rang the bell as a reward for their accomplishment. 

On top of this fortress is an 800-foot-high plateau which offers sweeping views of forested mountains, cultivated fields, the historical township of Sandy Point, and the neighboring Dutch, English and French islands across the Caribbean Sea.

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