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 16, 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Tonight's photo was taken on May 10, 2009. At the Mattie March, an event hosted by our support community. It was a big day for Mattie and his whole health care team worked with us to ensure that Mattie would be stable enough to attend the event. Mind you most of them were at the event with us! In this photo, Mattie was being pushed by Brandon (his best buddy, who was diagnosed with lymphoma around the same time Mattie was diagnosed) and Robbie (a child life intern). Also next to Mattie was Zachary (Mattie best friend from preschool). These three fellows never left Mattie's side for the entire event! It is a photo that will always illustrate the power of friendship!

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,467,796
  • number of people who died from the virus: 88,754

WE DID IT!!! Tonight's Virtual Walk update......

  1. 376 registered participants
  2. 50 states represented
  3. 9 Countries (Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, UK, & USA)
  4. 30 Walk Sponsors
  5. $104,056 raised so far 
  6. 460 individual donations
  7. 960 raffle tickets sold
  8. 20 Walk Teams (schools, community groups, friends and families, and sponsors) 

Photos are already being sent to us with supporters showing their Mattie Miracle spirit! This is Jake! He designed the sign with his mom's help and he is ready to start walking!!!

My friend Junko and her family! Each wearing a different Mattie Miracle Walk t-shirt! This reminds me that we have designed some beautiful shirts over these past 11 years!

Kazu, who is now 18, met Mattie when they were only 5 years old! It is hard to believe that so much time has gone by. Nonetheless, it means a lot to us that Mattie's close friends continue to walk and help us keep Mattie's memory alive. 

Our friend Ali and her children created this design on their driveway! It is wonderful to see all this Mattie Miracle energy and so glad thanks to technology we can be a part of it!

Our friend Ann, transformed her front door for the virtual Walk! We love seeing people using our hashtag... #MMCFWALK!!!

May 15, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. I remember snapping this photo early in the morning. It was Mattie's first day of summer camp at his preschool, and he was very excited to get there! Wasn't really interested in taking a photo for me, but he complied. Yet you can see in Mattie's facial expression that he wants me to hurry! Nonetheless, I am glad I took all the pictures that I did, and captured not only special moments, but our everyday adventures. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,439,434
  • number of people who died from the virus: 87,427

Today's updated Walk Facts (only two days away!)

  1. 338 registered participants
  2. 50 states represented
  3. 30 Walk Sponsors
  4. $96,622 raised so far (goal is $100k)
  5. 419 individual donations
  6. 772 raffle tickets sold
  7. 19 Walk Teams (even some of our sponsors.....Anthem, Ostendio, & Sinai Hospital) 

Meanwhile, we are blasting social media with all sorts of information about the Virtual Walk on Sunday. Since there is no live event, we want there to be some cohesiveness to the day. So we are informing people they can walk from midnight to noon on May 17. Then all they have to do is WALK, SNAP, and POST.

Walk: track your steps (to qualify for prizes)
Snap: take a picture showing your Mattie Miracle spirit
Post: share photos and final walk count on our social media platforms (making sure to use #MMCFWALK in all social media posts)

Even Sunny is showing his Mattie Miracle spirit! Dressed in ORANGE and wearing a star performer medal. 
Sunny and me!
First time Sunny was off leash since his surgery! Never guessing that he would be so excited and start running! Any case, this photo makes a great promo for the walk! 

May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020 

Tonight's picture was taken on May 10, 2009, at the Mattie March. The community event, Mattie's support community held in his honor. This photo is one of my all time favorites. As the School's baseball team came to meet Mattie. Each team member fist pumped him and also the team gave Mattie a signed baseball. The next day, I found out the baseball team won their game and they attributed it to meeting Mattie the day before. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,417,774
  • number of people who died from the virus: 85,898

Here are the latest facts about our Virtual Walk scheduled for this Sunday, May 17th (

  1. 314 registered participants
  2. 50 states represented
  3. 30 Walk Sponsors
  4. $93,842 raised so far (goal is $100k)
  5. 402 individual donations
  6. 721 raffle tickets sold
  7. 18 Walk Teams
The virtual walk is certainly different from our live event, but we have many members of our walk committee and supporters who are getting their orange out for Sunday. As we are encouraging our participants to show their orange spirit, snap photos, and to share them with us on social media. 

This wonderful t-shirt display was done by our friend Ali. These are Mattie Miracle t-shirts from previous Walks. Ali is a core member of our Walk Committee and she is no stranger to Mattie Miracle. Her mom, Margaret, was a close friend of mine. Margaret was Mattie's preschool teacher, and Margaret was passionate about Mattie Miracle. After Margaret died in 2014 from ALS, Ali took over where her mom left off. It has been very special for me to get to know Margaret's daughter and her grandchildren and I am so impressed with their commitment to the Foundation. 

Ali snapped several photos of her children dressed up in Foundation t-shirts (from previous walks) and lots of orange bling. This is only one of the photos, but my joke with Ali is Gerber had its photogenic baby featured on the front of their baby food jars, and Mattie Miracle has these three cuties. 

Who says the virtual walk is just for humans?! Our four legged friends are also gearing up for Sunday. This is my friend Jane's dog, Goldie. She's got her orange on! 

Whether you are walking with us or not on Sunday, wear some orange, snap a photo and email it to us at!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009. We were at the Mattie March, the event our support community held in Mattie's honor. In this photo, you can see Mattie sitting (front and center) in a wheelchair. He was surrounded by practically his entire treatment team at Georgetown Hospital. These are incredible professionals who made the impossible much more bearable. It was this event that set the ground work for all subsequent Foundation walks. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,390,406
  • number of people who died from the virus: 84,119

Today was a whirlwind! It is after midnight, and I am still working. In the midst of our long day, we took Sunny to physical therapy. Which is located in Leesburg, a 40 minute drive each way! Sunny's PT loves him and she feels five weeks post surgery, he is doing great. Says we are doing something right, since he is looking good. We are all grateful that Sunny is motivated by food. It makes it super easy to do therapy with him. He actually popped out of the car today and couldn't wait to go inside. Why? They use special treats with the dogs to keep them engaged and motivated to work. 

Meanwhile, since Monday, Mattie Miracle raised an additional $12,000! So here is the latest on our virtual walk scheduled for this Sunday.....
  1. 287 registered participants
  2. 50 states represented
  3. 30 Walk Sponsors
  4. $91,136 raised so far (goal is $100k)
  5. 373 individual donations
  6. 595 raffle tickets sold
  7. 18 Walk Teams

Peter and I also hosted our second Facebook Live session today. We covered the raffle! Check it out: 

May 12, 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 -- Mattie died 554 weeks ago today.  

Tonight's picture was taken on May 10, 2009, at the Mattie March. An event Mattie's support community planned for us. Next to Mattie, is Bob Weiman. Or as we call him, the Magic Man. At the Mattie March, Bob and Mattie performed magic tricks together. Keep in mind that Bob visited Mattie often in the hospital and personally taught him magic. A skill, his own father taught him. Magic opened up new possibilities for Mattie. As it made him feel unique and special while in the hospital, because not every one could perform these tricks and though Mattie had physical disabilities, his fine motor skills were intact. The magic trick you see in this photo was called the Peanut Butter Booger trick. However, Bob renamed the trick.... 'the Mattie Brown.' Bob continues the tradition you see in this photo and for the last ten years has performed magic tricks at our events in memory of Mattie. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,367,927
  • number of people who died from the virus: 82,246

Update on the Virtual Walk:

  1. 271 registered participants
  2. 49 states represented
  3. 30 Walk Sponsors
  4. $82,728 raised so far
  5. 329 individual donations
  6. 17 Walk Teams

Given the circumstances, Mattie Miracle's live event was canceled and in less than a month, we converted the Walk to a virtual event. That may sound easy, but it isn't! Anytime you do something for the first time there is a learning curve, especially since it means we need to use technology. Today we did a LIVE Facebook Session. The link is below. It is only 5 minutes long, but our goal was to provide more details around what is a virtual walk and what we expect to happen on Sunday. Needless to say, we tried to convert our living room into a Mattie Miracle studio today.

May 11, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken on Mother's Day in May of 2005. That day we took Mattie to the Aquatic Gardens in DC. Another favorite spot of ours. It is a park off the beaten track, but once you walk through the gates, it is a magical place. Filled with water lilies, lotuses, and countless birds. Peter took a photo of us together, and you may notice I had to hold Mattie still, because he was my boy in constant motion. He had two modes... on and off. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 1,347,388
  • number of people who died from the virus: 80,397

Here are the latest Mattie Miracle Virtual Walk Facts:

  1. 250 people registered
  2. 47 states represented (missing Nebraska, North Dakota, and Alaska)
  3. raised $81,305 so far
  4. 319 individual donations
  5. 30 Walk Sponsors
  6. 16 Walk teams

An added dimension to the complexity of planning for the walk this year is the technology we need to use to do live greetings on social media. We have tried different platforms and each of them has problems. My favorite problem was that you while we were talking we could see our lips moving, but the sound came out seconds later. A total mismatch. It was funny to watch, but not the look we were hoping for. So we decided to use Facebook Live to do a greeting on Sunday and to also use it to announce our raffle winners in real time.  

Meanwhile, my morning started by going to the hospital to have my yearly mammogram. Virginia has opened its hospitals to non-emergent matters. I don't like missing a mammogram, especially after many moms (whose children had osteosarcoma) told me there is a high correlation between children with bone cancer and moms developing breast cancer. So virus or no virus, I was going today. When I tell you the hospital was a ghost town, I am not kidding. I think I see more people at the grocery store than I saw today at the hospital. I literally saw 5 people in total! As soon as I entered the hospital, the entrance was controlled with roped off lanes and greeters. Basically you aren't getting in until you get your temperature checked and they know where you are going and why. I came in with a mask, but they gave me a second one to put on top of my mask. I frankly could hardly breath and the hospital mask kept migrating into my eyes. I am not in love with masks and frankly I am not sure they do what they are purported to do. All I know is when you wear a mask you land up touching your face far more often than with no mask, and face touching is a number one way to spread germs. Needless to say, I was at the hospital a total of thirty minutes, because with few patients needing service, things moved quickly. 

May 10, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken on Mother's Day of 2007. Mattie was five years old and we went out for Mother's Day brunch at one of Mattie's favorite restaurants. Peter snapped this photo of us and Mattie decided to illustrate his love for me by crossing his arms. To me it will always be a priceless photo. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people who were diagnosed with the virus: 1,329,225
  • number of people who died from the virus: 79,525

Peter made me a Mother's Day card that highlighted many of the wonderful photos
I had with Mattie on this special day. This was Mother's Day 2007. 

This was Mother's Day 2006.
Peter captured Mattie's name for me, Una Moona!

My mother in law surprised me with a dozen roses. They certainly brighten up our home, especially in lock down. Normally, we have our deck garden planted by this time, but until things open up, our flower boxes will lay dormant. 
We walked around the National Mall today and came across this sighting by the reflecting pool alongside the Lincoln Memorial. A mother duck and her two ducklings. A sight Mattie always appreciated and now every time I see such a pairing, I remember Mattie saying..... 'they look just like us.'

On this Mother's day, I share a poem that my friend, Denise, gave me years ago. It is a column written by Erma Bombeck that has touched my heart each Mother's Day and most likely the hearts of many bereaved moms. As she says..... I can think of no mothers who deserve it more (appreciation and respect) than those who had to give a child back.


Mothers Who Have Lost a Child - May 14, 1995 by Erma Bombeck

If you're looking for an answer this Mother's day on why God reclaimed your child, I don't know. I only know that thousands of mothers out there today desperately need an answer as to why they were permitted to go through the elation of carrying a child and then lose it to miscarriage, accident, violence, disease or drugs.

Motherhood isn't just a series of contractions, it's a state of mind. From the moment we know life is inside us, we feel a responsibility to protect and defend that human being. It's a promise we can't keep. We beat ourselves to death over that pledge. "If I hadn't worked through the eighth month." "If I had taken him to the doctor when he had a fever." "If I hadn't let him use the car that night." "If I hadn't been so naive. I'd have noticed he was on drugs."

The longer I live, the more convinced I become that surviving changes us. After the bitterness, the anger, the guilt, and the despair are tempered by time, we look at life differently.

While I was writing my book, I want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise, I talked with mothers who had lost a child to cancer. Every single one said death gave their lives new meaning and purpose. And who do you think prepared them for the rough, lonely road they had to travel? Their dying child. They pointed their mothers toward the future and told them to keep going. The children had already accepted what their mothers were fighting to reflect.

The children in the bombed-out nursery in Oklahoma City have touched more lives than they will ever know. Workers who had probably given their kids a mechanical pat on the head without thinking that morning are making calls home during the day to their children to say, "I love you."

This may seem like a strange Mother's Day column on a day when joy and life abound for the millions of mothers throughout the country. But it's also a day of appreciation and respect. I can think of no mothers who deserve it more than those who had to give a child back.

In the face of adversity, we are not permitted to ask, "why me?" You can ask, but you won't get an answer. Maybe you are the instrument who is left behind to perpetuate the life that was lost and appreciate the time you had with it.