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

April 24, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. You maybe asking.... what's going on? Mattie was actually in the midst of a physical therapy session in his hospital room. As you can see, doing physical therapy with Mattie required you to think outside the box. Mattie's therapist, Anna, truly rose to the occasion and was a great match for our family. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 32,038,232
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 571,883

Mattie Miracle is starting a NEW CAMPAIGN this Walk season! You remember the game... finding Waldo? Well we are doing, Finding Mattie Miracle. We are asking supporters to send us photos of themselves with our Mattie Miracle logo! Photos can be taken anywhere, and to illustrate how easy it is, we did it with Sunny! The goal is to spread Mattie Miracle sunshine wherever you are!

The campaign should be fun and easy (and free)! Our hope is that the concept will take off and we receive lots of photos through our social media platforms or email! 

Here is what we will circulate electronically for people to either print out or hold up! The campaign will begin next week and run until May 16th! 

April 23, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. That day we took Mattie to the Washington Mall in his wheelchair. Mattie loved to see the ducks and feed them and I brought a bag full of bread so Mattie could do just that. I recall we even shared bread with some other children so they too could feed the ducks. I can't look at a duck now, without thinking of all our adventures with ducks.

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,972,888
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 571,001

Here is the highlight of my day! Actually the week and month..... I received a surprise gift in the mail from my friend Carolyn. What is it? Picture a cupcake in a jelly jar! I am a big cupcake fan and given the last few weeks I have had, this is like winning the lottery. 

But it isn't just the fact that it is cupcakes (something that symbolically reminds me of Mattie), it is the fact that I have a friend who gives me gifts out of the blue. For no reason..... the best kind of gift. Carolyn's friendship is one of the gifts Mattie left behind for me. We met at Mattie's preschool and have been connected ever since. Many of you know Carolyn, as she has run our Walk raffle for over 12 years!

I haven't been writing about it, but I still am struggling with cluster headaches. In fact, it has been so long that I have lost track of the number of weeks living with this! I literally feel like someone is stabbing me in the eyes and my head is sensitive to the touch and pounds constantly. It leave me feeling chronically tired. Yet, each day I have a ton to do, and plug along. 

Peter was telling me a funny story today about someone we know. Clearly this person evaluated me from her own perspective and was stunned when Peter told her that I was presiding over an ethics violation hearing for the District today and that when I caregive, I am all hands on. Meaning that I can shower, dress, toilet, and move my dad. This person was stunned! I gather I don't appear to be the type who can hold my own!?? Given my history as an advocate, for all sorts of issues, something about this today made me chuckle! If this woman only knew what I have lived through. 

Funny story for the day! I was walking Sunny around the National Mall. He was very fixated on a bush. I figured he was just smelling around, since I saw nothing. But he wasn't budging! He wanted what was in that bush and kept nosing around. After several minutes, a big mama duck flew out at me. I was shocked, and jumped and screamed. People around me were laughing over this incident! Mattie, I know, would have absolutely LOVED it and we would have been talking about it all day. 

April 22, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. I remember this day distinctly. I went home the night before and left Peter and Mattie in the hospital together. By that point in Mattie's treatment, we needed breaks away from the hospital. I didn't do it often, maybe once or twice, but that day I came back to the hospital and we took Mattie outside to the hospital's rose garden. A garden that we visited in good times and bad. In fact, we were in this garden when I learned that Mattie's cancer metastasized throughout his body. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,915,280
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 570,147

It was another busy day! Of course don't you know it, I lost email capability today! Not the best of news during Walk season! Fortunately Peter is my tech guru and worked the problem! Otherwise, I would have lost it. Peter was on the phone with a tech person, and don't you know it, this person is studying to become a mental health counselor. When I heard this, I approached the phone and started talking with him. He was lovely and truly made a difficult situation MUCH BETTER! I gave him some helpful pieces of information about studying for our licensure exam and when to take it! I joked with him that he is the perfect person to manage customers, because if we are getting to his level within his company, that means as a client we are having significant technology issues and we are most likely STRESSED out about this! Any case, I feel much better knowing he is working the problem with Peter! 

Meanwhile, I feel on overload, and can't get rid of this wild headache! So I am signing off for tonight. 

April 21, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. That evening, Jerry and Nancy came to visit us. They were the Hospital's music volunteers. They came once a week in the evenings. We met them on the first night Mattie received chemotherapy. I will never forget how they infused life and hope into our room! In any case, this photo was taken after Mattie played a "Name That Tune" game with Jerry and Nancy. He guessed correctly and won a prize! What Mattie did not realize was that Jerry and I emailed days before each visit, so that Jerry would play only songs Mattie knew. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,859,044
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 569,361

As of today, here is our current Walk total. I have to say that one of the hardest things about running a non-profit is figuring out where the money will be coming from each year. Regardless of how many walks that we host, I always have the same fear each year..... will we meet our financial goal? 

With COVID, there are definitely more long term issues that I see popping up. Corporations and businesses are having more difficulties sponsoring community events, donors have more financial uncertainties, and then of course we have the simple fact that we are living a technology life DAILY! So how likely are people to participate in a virtual event? Last year, it was novel and people wanted to get out of their homes to walk. Now I think people are just frustrated, stressed out, and need life to return to some state of normalcy. That is the focus, and understandably so. 

I have tried all week to focus on writing our April newsletter, but to NO avail. Instead, I am constantly working on other issues as it relates to the Walk. During Walk season, even though the event is virtual, there are daily problems, concerns, and administrative work. Needless to say, tonight I am..... frustrated in DC!

April 20, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 -- Mattie died 603 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. Mattie was home, between treatments, and eating cornflakes. Some people like to look at clouds and imagine the objects and shapes they see! Mattie used to do this with cornflakes. He liked to check out their shapes and would tell me what he saw! This one reminded us of a fish! 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,785,779
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 568,413

I am happy to report that all toiletry drive items were delivered today, both to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Children's Hospital at Sinai! It was a feat, but I knew we had to accomplish this before the Walk. I am also aware that these items were really needed to restock our Carts!

I went to the Foundation's mailbox today and found it very full. Which is a wonderful vision during Walk season. As of today, we have raised $63,067!!!

April 19, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. Mattie was home between hospital admissions and as you can see it was a low day in our home. I did not even realize Peter was taking a photo. As we were both in our pajamas, and Mattie wasn't feeling good.... both physically and psychologically. It is sheer torture watching your child suffer in this way, and how Peter and I did not crack up is beyond me. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,731,497
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 567,654

Today I went for a consultation with an opthamologist. As I have NO confidence in the practice I have been using for years. I went from having no eye issues, to all of a sudden being a candidate for glaucoma. In fact, the previous doctor I saw scared me to death, saying that I could get a narrow angle attack at any moment, and could possibly lose vision in my left eye. She's a peach! No bedside manner, and then after telling me this called me a hypochondriac. Really?

I was hoping today's visit to a new doctor would go better. The office staff were fine, until I go to the doctor's tech. I thought she was incompetent and scattered! She was running around from patient room to patient room, slamming doors behind her! After waiting to see the doctor for 90 minutes, I literally got up and was ready to cancel the appointment. But soon thereafter the doctor showed up. He's personable and not an alarmist. He did confirm that my left eye has narrow angles, and therefore I am a candidate for glaucoma. I am headed back to his office in three weeks for more testing, in which he will dilate my eye and they will monitor my eye pressure for two hours. Should be fun! Glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) occurs from having high eye pressure. So testing my eye pressure over this period of time, provides more data points. But given what he is saying, I most likely have an iridotomy in my near future. 

So what am I talking about? 

The angle is the space between the clear part of the eye (cornea) and the colored part (iris), close to their meeting point near the edge of the iris. It contains the trabecular meshwork, which is the main structure that directs fluid out of the eye. 

In closed angle glaucoma, the angle is closed in many or most areas, causing increased eye pressure, which leads to optic nerve damage, and possible vision loss. This rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle closure) or gradually. 

A laser iridotomy creates a hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases. After the angle is widened from the procedure, the trabecular meshwork is exposed and fluid outflow is enhanced. Iridotomy is intended to preserve the vision and prevent glaucoma from appearing or progressing.

April 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2009. That day we took Mattie down to the National Mall for a walk. On our way back, we stopped at Mattie's favorite fountain. I think what intrigued Mattie was the height of the water, the massive amount of water, and the crashing sound the water made as it came down. Though this fountain still exists, it has been shut off all during COVID-19. But to me this is still Mattie's fountain. 

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

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 31,646,227
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 567,071

Before I went to Los Angeles in March, I had sorted through three boxes full of toiletries. I was resigned to thinking that the April Item Drive would not be a success this year. To my amazement, I came home to this!
Thankfully Peter had been sorting items all along, so today, we just needed to do some last minute touches and separate it out for the two hospitals we support. So this pile is going to Children's Hospital at Sinai on Tuesday afternoon! 
This pile is going to be delivered to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Tuesday morning. For the most part both the items going to these hospitals are the same, except we provide Georgetown with two additional items: k-cups for coffee as well as kid bandaids.
We carried all the items from upstairs to our living room and staged this photo for our April newsletter! Next step is to load the car! 

We are grateful to all our supporters who contributed to our Item Drive in honor of Mattie's 19th birthday.