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 18, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. Mattie's care community planned a "Mattie March" for him and us to raise money for Mattie and to also show support. It was an incredible day! As you can see, Mattie was in the center of it all in a wheelchair. From this event, the Foundation's annual Walk was born. 

Quote of the day: If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. ~ Jeff Brooks

It is now 11:15pm and I have to call it quits! As  Peter is up before 5am and I need to be on campus before 8am to coordinate set up. 

Our fundraising thermometer reads ........$107,194!!! We can't thank our supporters enough for making the Mattie Miracles possible!

May 17, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. It was Memorial Day weekend and we took Mattie to Sesame Street Place in Pennsylvania. I had learned of this toddler aged theme park from other moms at Mattie's preschool. Given that Mattie LOVED Elmo, he was eager to go! Mattie had a great time! We bought him an Elmo balloon, but then another Sesame Street dressed character approached Mattie and gave him a second balloon. It was a day to remember, including a wonderful Memorial Day parade right in the middle of the park.

Quote of the day: Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Today did not go exactly as planned. But what I do know is fortunately I am very organized and have been working very hard before family and friends came into town today. Otherwise, today would have been a major set back for Walk plans. 

I have been glued to a computer for weeks now, so I could feel my anxiety rise today as I was out and entertaining. Mainly because I know how much work is ahead of me still tonight!

This evening, Peter and I took out family and friends (who have come from California, Boston, Michigan, and New York) to attend our anniversary Walk. I have planned four dinners while everyone is in town. Tonight's dinner was at Le Refuge. This restaurant has significance to me because my dear friend Margaret (Mattie's preschool teacher) introduced it to me. We had many wonderful three course lunches together there! Needless to say, any time I am in this restaurant, I think of Margaret. 

I end tonight's posting with the fundraising thermometer of the day.... $105,617! 

May 16, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. It was an exciting weekend for Mattie, because he and Peter went out to buy his first bicycle. Look at that happy face!!! Our outdoor commons area was the perfect place to learn how to ride. It was enclosed, so I did not have to worry about cars or a lot of pedestrian  traffic!

Quote of the day: Volunteers will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no volunteers. ~ Ken Wyman

Mattie Miracle is quite lucky, because we have a core group of volunteers who have been with us for TEN YEARS! This core group helps to make the Walk possible. It takes us about 60+ volunteers to pull off the Walk. If we had to pay for their time and skills, then I would really have to re-assess the Walk. In a nutshell, I am deeply grateful for these individuals in our lives, many of whom knew Mattie and help us keep his legacy alive. 

I am running to the airport to pick up my parents. We have around 15 people (family and close family friends) coming into town this weekend for our 10th anniversary. So it is a reunion and celebration!

Today's fundraising thermometer reads... $104,103!

May 15, 2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. Mattie was four years old. That weekend we transitioned Mattie to a twin bed. It was his first official bed. He started out in a crib, but his crib was then converted to a toddler bed. Which we used for quite some time. But by four years of age, Mattie was very ready for a transition. I was slow to change Mattie's sleeping arrangements mainly because it took us so long to teach Mattie how to sleep. I had to read several books before we were successful. Yet by the time Mattie transitioned to a twin bed, he mastered the art of sleep and you can see he was very happy with his Bob the Builder sheets! 

Quote of the day: Donor loyalty is not about the donor being loyal to you, it is you being loyal to the donor. ~ Harvey McKinnon

Being loyal to the donor! An interesting notion conveyed through tonight's quote. I do think McKinnon is right though. Which maybe why I am on a maniacal pace to try to personally thank every person who donates to us, who registers to attend our 10th anniversary walk, or purchases raffle tickets. So far for this Walk, I have personally acknowledged 250 people. It is a time consuming process, but I think the personal touch is necessary when interacting with every donor. 

I have to admit I am very tired. I have been working 12+ hour days in order to pull off this Walk on Sunday. Today's excitement was we received our event posters from the printer. Posters that will be featured at the Walk. In any case, as soon as I saw several of them, I said.... OH NO! Clearly who ever printed them out did not check them. What caught my eye was the coloring of people!! Everyone looked like a lobster..... very, very red, and NOT natural. Mind you, I reviewed the proofs of these posters before they went into print and I assure you they did not look like this. The Walk is Sunday and I suppose I could have let these lobster looking posters go! But several of them had Mattie in them and I truly did not think the posters did his memory justice. So I reached out to the printing company and thankfully they are more than accommodating and are reprinting them. 

Here is what our fundraising thermometer looks like tonight..... $103,367!

May 14, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 -- Mattie died 503 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture is one of my favorites. It was taken in May of 2006. Mattie was four years old. You will notice he was holding a photo. That photo remains on our refrigerator. But I had Mattie hold the photo and stand next to the coffee table. My point was to show Mattie how much he had grown in a few short years. Using the table as our benchmark. Don't you just love that smile?

Quote of the day: The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others. ~ Homer

Tonight's fundraising thermometer reads..... $102,949

Mattie Miracle's 10th anniversary Walk is just days away. It is hard to believe, because in reality I feel like I just planned 2018's walk a minute ago. 

It is the challenge of having to fundraise, as it takes a great deal of energy, passion, and persistence. Each year I worry whether we are going to meet our goal. But what I am finding is our supporters are really stepping up to make the tenth anniversary a memorable one. Here are more specifics behind the thermometer:
  1. We have 35 corporate and individual Walk sponsors this year who in total have donated $53,000
  2. We have 17 Walk teams and in total they have raised in pledges $30,000
  3. Which leaves about $19,000 coming in from donations, Walk registrations and our on-line raffle 

We photographed the 12 raffle baskets this weekend. They were a labor of love to stage and wrap, but they look wonderful and each one is valued at over $500. 

May 13, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. It was a weekend, and we were outside on the deck having breakfast. Peter snapped this cute photo of us together. Mattie loved being outside, and though prior to Mattie I preferred the indoors, I learned to love what he loved. Now, like Mattie, I prefer being outside than in. 

Quote of the day: When it comes to fundraising for a social enterprise, if you are pursuing your true passion, you’ll learn to become great at your craft because you’ll care so much about perfecting the skills necessary to make that dream a reality. ~ Adam Braun

There is a great deal of truth to tonight's quote! I am not a professional fundraiser, nor do I have any experience running a company. But when Mattie died, the passion was there to develop both skills. Out of necessity, I have risen to the challenge. It has been a long day of work, but look at tonight's fundraising thermometer! We have officially exceeded our goal. We are at $101,775!!! 

May 12, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tonight's picture was taken on Mother's Day of 2007. Mattie was five years old. My boys took me out for Mother's Day brunch and Peter snapped this photo of us. I love that Peter caught Mattie's hand gesture in this picture. Mattie's hands were to signify how much he loved me! To me this is a priceless photo!

Next Sunday is our tenth anniversary Mattie Miracle Walk and in many ways I suppose it is a blessing that I was so busy today doing one task after the other, that I did not have time to dwell on the reality of the day. It is a reality that constantly plays in the back of mind, ever present, and yet somehow managed in order to function. Yet look at that cute face, it is hard to accept that Mattie could get diagnosed with cancer and in 14 months die. 

Quote of the day: For women whose children have died, it can almost go without saying that Mother’s Day is deeply painful, and because of that, it should never go without saying. If you know a mother whose child has died, at any age, please acknowledge her motherhood as well as her pain. The greatest gift for a bereaved mother on Mother’s Day can be the simple, but hugely powerful, recognition of her motherhood. ~ Karla Helbert

I couldn't agree more, as I feel tonight's quote is spot on. It is virtually impossible to lose a child, but what makes the hurt even worse (if that is possible) is to have you and your child forgotten. I received a beautiful email tonight that got me to pause and reflect. It comes from a fellow cancer mom, whose daughter was diagnosed at the same time as Mattie. We have known each other for 11 years and have become friends through our cancer experiences. Both of us respecting the other. Here is a snippet of what my friend wrote....

You are an inspiration, not just in what you do for others but in the way that you raised Mattie. Today you are not just Mattie's mom but my daughter's and all the other children dealing with cancer that you help. You ARE love! 

Mattie's oncologist also wrote to me, and one of the things she said was...

I am reminding you today of the amazing mother I watched and learned from. I gave thanks today for your example to me.

Peter gave me this beautiful bouquet this weekend. Not just today, but the start of the weekend. It is hard to believe that I had 7 Mother's Days with Mattie and now ten without!
Time doesn't make the loss of Mattie easier, however, I was surprised by friends who showered me with cookies, flowers, and cupcakes today! Mattie would have approved of Tina's cookies. The butterfly is my symbol for Mattie!
I feel very lucky that friends continue the journey with me and are committed to keeping Mattie's memory alive. This is the best Mother's Day gift a bereaved mom could ask for. My friend Carolyn came over to remove all raffle items from my home! A blessing and in return she left me with this beautiful arrangement and cupcakes (Mattie's food of choice)!

Our fundraising thermometer jumped quite a bit today. Here is the latest..... $98,242 or 98% of goal.