We're Setting A New Standard For Raising Awareness
Focusing on a child and family's psychosocial needs across the cancer trajectory
We take a multi-pronged approach to furthering public understanding of what childhood cancer is, who it impacts, and how childhood cancer is as much a psychological disease as it is a physical one.
We sponsor an annual childhood cancer awareness walk that has educated thousands of people and raised over $500,000.
We conduct training sessions for medical personnel on the psychosocial impact of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment on the entire family unit.
We provide on-line support to families affected by childhood cancer.
We speak at schools, universities, and national conferences spreading the mission of the Foundation.
In the Fall of 2022, the co-founders of Zach's Bridge, reached out to the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation. Zach was their only child and after a courageous journey against Osteosarcoma, Zach died in November of 2021, at the age of 16. Zach's Bridge was created in his memory.
Zach's family experienced a gap in support while facing advanced pediatric cancer and found it close to impossible to find a peer willing and able to lend support. Zach’s Bridge helps families navigate advanced pediatric cancer through peer support. Their goal is to ease the journey and give the entire family comfort and time to focus on what truly matters to them.
Mattie Miracle is honored to serve on the Zach's Bridge Advisory Council, to be a part of Zach's legacy work, and to help other families cope when a medical cure for their child is not possible.
Reflections from Jon Wall (Co-Founder & President of Zach's Bridge):
"When we started exploring ways to help the next pediatric cancer family, we saw that there were many organizations that provided research funding, and others that provided family support largely at the start of the diagnosis or after the death of a child. But organizations that help a family with connection, guidance and support from the time of a terminal diagnosis didn't really exist. When Zach was in the late stages of his journey, we had looked for peers who had gone through what we did and it was almost impossible to find them. It's such an overwhelming time as a parent and while there are actually a broad range of resources available, when faced with the end of your child's life, it can be hard to find, understand and use them. So we decided to put together a service that connects families with an experienced, bereaved, trained peer who can provide connection, thoughtful conversation, guidance and access to curated resources. We do this because we want to ease this journey and give the entire family comfort and time to focus on what truly matters to them."
Reflections from Jenn Wall (Co-Founder & Executive Director of Zach's Bridge):
"As we explored how to do this, Mattie Miracle came up a few times in conversations and it seemed like it was very connected to the idea that was forming around Zach's Bridge, and one of the only organizations that really focused on the psychosocial impact on the child. Once we connected with Vicki and Peter, it was immediately clear that we both had similar viewpoints and that Mattie Miracle had done a spectacular job building awareness and providing resources to help children and families facing pediatric cancer. We knew very quickly that based on our common experience of losing a child to cancer, and the thoughtfulness and experience that Peter and Vicki could offer, that we wanted them to help both guide the development of Zach's Bridge, as well as assist future families. Therefore, we asked Vicki and Peter to join our advisory council and we are so grateful they accepted our invitation."
In 2013, Mattie Miracle held its first Psychosocial Think Tank at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) annual conference in Huntington Beach, CA. That event launched our long-term collaboration with APOS. We consider APOS to be our professional and research home.
APOS is the only multidisciplinary organization in the United States dedicated to researching and treating the psychosocial aspects of cancer. APOS is committed to our vision of the implementation of the Psychosocial Standards of Care at treatment sites around the country and to help achieve this goal we are honored to house our early career psychosocial research grants at APOS.
In honor of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we have officially become APOS' first community partner, We view this decision as a positive step that further unites healthcare professionals and advocates together on a common cause.
Elizabeth Archer-Nanda, DNP, APRN
On behalf of the APOS Board of Directors, we are thrilled to announce Mattie Miracle as our first Honorary Community Partner! We are so grateful for your continued support and significant contributions and look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come
Thank you for your longstanding commitment to the mission, vision, and values of APOS. We are so honored to extend this first honorary community partner to you and the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation.
It is through continued great partnering with advocates such as the co-founders of Mattie Miracle that we will continue to make a difference! We are truly grateful that you have chosen APOS as your partner organization and for all the work you continue to do to honor the importance of psychosocial/psychological care for patients and their families.
May there continue to be great meaning in our shared work and the long legacy of Mattie and Jimmie Holland.
Dr. Joseph Greer (APOS President, 2021-2022) and Dr. Charles Kamen (APOS Program Planning Committee Chair, 2021-2022) share their reflections on Mattie Miracle's 10 year partnership with APOS:
Since 2013, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) and Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation have developed a longstanding and highly productive collaboration to ensure that every child and family affected by cancer receives comprehensive psychosocial support. This partnership has flourished over the years through a variety of initiatives including the creation and promotion of evidence-based standards of care, rigorous clinical research, and patient-centered programs and services. In 2020, APOS launched the Community Spotlight program as one of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force initiatives. The goal of this program is to showcase psychosocial oncology services, programs, and events that are happening in the community, outside the walls of academia. This year, in 2022, APOS was immensely pleased to spotlight the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation as a key community partner during the annual conference, elevating efforts by community-based organizations to advance practice-changing psycho-oncology research and program development in collaboration with APOS members.
Of note, the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation has partnered with APOS to create Early Investigator and Mattie Miracle Implementation Grants (click on the Letter of Intent link to learn more and apply), which have funded 15 innovative projects to date. At the 2022 Annual APOS Conference, some of this work was highlighted with an exciting symposium focused on lessons learned in implementing the Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology Standards of Care. Specifically, APOS members presented findings from their projects regarding a peer-to-peer mentoring program for parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer; surveys and programs to provide systematic psychosocial screening and comprehensive support for siblings of youth with cancer; and the use of digital health interventions to assess adherence to oral chemotherapy in adolescent and young adults as well as to implement a community-based ehealth program to bolster coping skills and psychosocial support for parents and families.
The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation also recently announced that it would again partner with APOS to renew the call for applications and fund additional research projects aimed at implementing the Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology Standards of Care. These projects will not only help launch the research careers of dedicated APOS investigators but also accelerate the development and dissemination of novel, evidence-based psychosocial services for children and families affected by cancer. It is truly an honor and privilege to continue working so closely year-over-year with Dr. Victoria Sardi-Brown, Mr. Peter Brown, and the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation. APOS thanks you for all you do and your continued support!
Spreading our Psychosocial Message
Mattie Miracle was interviewed by Mark Levine, the host of Help and Hope Happen Here, a national Podcast designed to enhance awareness of childhood cancer by interviewing advocates and professionals who are passionate about improving the lives of children with cancer. Mark is a gifted interviewer, who investigates his subject matter thoroughly before conducting an interview. His level of professionalism and preparation were greatly appreciated as Mattie Miracle feels Mark did an outstanding job highlighting our 12 years of service to the childhood cancer community in 60 minutes.
Minute 1 - 15:
Mattie and his cancer diagnosis
Learning Mattie had cancer
Mattie's medical treatments
When metastasis occurred
Mental health evaluation and diagnosis
Minute 16 - 30:
Starting Mattie Miracle
The mission and why it's important to focus on psychosocial care
Our Programs: Awareness, Advocacy, and Psychosocial Support
Only non-profit dedicated to psychosocial issues
The Standards Project
Minute 31 - 35:
What the Standards of Care have revealed
Minute 36 - 40:
Work on Capitol HIll
Creation of a House of Representatives Resolution
First psychosocial symposium on Capitol Hill
Minute 41 - 46:
Our connections with psychosocial leaders
Professional organizations endorsing the Standards
Unfolding of the Standards within the community
Minute 47 - 60:
Open access to the Standards of Care
Money raised to date
Funding Child Life Specialists
Our 5-10 year vision
We invite you to listen to this 60 minute Podcast, highlighting Mattie's life, and Mattie Miracle's psychosocial work over the last 12 years.