AWARENESS

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. 

 

RECENT SUCCESS

Mattie Miracle's 6th year at Curefest

September 22, 2019

On Sunday, September 22, Mattie Miracle participated at Curefest on the National Mall. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this, the childhood cancer community unites as one voice against childhood cancer. Families impacted by childhood cancer gather and walk three miles around the US Capitol and the Washington Monument, network with each other, and raise awareness for the number one killer of children by disease in our country.


For six years, Mattie Miracle has participated at this national awareness event with 80 other childhood non-profits from around the country. At the event, we have our own tent which provides information about the Foundation and about the importance of psychosocial care, as well as a lot of fun take-aways for children and teens. We are honored each year that families come to visit us and share their powerful psychosocial stories with us. As their stories continue to validate our mission that CHILDHOOD CANCER IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE MEDICINETM.
 

One of the themes we heard from most parents this year was that their child, who survived treatment, is now having many emotional and social issues that are impacting the family and the school. We could hear the exasperation and exhaustion in the voices of moms and dads, who are desperate to find help and community resources. Resources that understand the psychosocial issues that arise from cancer treatment. Mattie Miracle understands that the psychosocial issues do not end for the child or the family once the medical treatment does, which is why we had the vision to create evidence based Psychosocial Standards of Care. As Standard #3 focuses on the importance of having access to Psychosocial Follow-Up in Survivorship. Our hope is that with implementation of the Standards, that this terrible void experienced by the cancer community can be effectively addressed. Not just addressed with one child and family, but with EVERY child and family touched by cancer. 


Mattie Miracle is also particularly grateful to Lynda. Lynda lives in upstate New York and her son, Charlie, died from DIPG (a brain cancer). In 2016, we first met Lynda and Charlie at Curefest. Charlie entered our tent to learn more about the Psychosocial Standards of Care. Charlie was a teenager in treatment and felt his hospital wasn't meeting his needs or that of his fellow patients. So literally he took our Standards brochure back to his institution and told them.... 'here is the scientific evidence, NOW do something to help support me and the other kids.' 
 

Each year, Lynda comes to visit our Foundation tent to give us an update. This year she let us know that the hospital Charlie was treated at listened to him and his request. There is now a psychosocial program devoted to helping families throughout the cancer journey. Lynda thanks Mattie Miracle and ultimately Mattie for the Standards, and we of course thank her and Charlie. The Foundation can have the vision to create the Standards, but it was Charlie who advocated for the implementation of the Standards at his hospital. A beautiful story that speaks to the power of advocacy and how one voice can great a legacy to improve the overall quality of care for children with cancer.

Spreading the Psychosocial Message to High School Students

January 22, 2019

Mattie Miracle was invited to present three 45 minute sessions at the St. Stephen's and St. Agnes High School's Colloquium for the Common Good.  The Colloquium was designed to inspire students to learn, deeply think, and reflect upon challenging social issues.

 

The title of our session was, Life unscripted: From a family’s crisis to a national non-profit.  The description of our session was....

Life does not always go as expected or even as we hoped. Yet when faced with a crisis and a loss, how do we cope? What do we do? Through role plays, team games, and thoughtful participant discussion, you will have the opportunity to hear our childhood cancer story, learn about the development and work of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation, and strategize ways for teens to get involved in supporting our mission to help children with cancer.   

Given the audience we were educating, we purposefully designed age-appropriate curriculum addressing childhood cancer that would engage the students without instilling fear.  Through role plays, a matching fact game, a Foundation video, and a group challenge, we raised awareness of the psychosocial issues children with cancer and their families face.  In addition, we invited these teens to brainstorm ways they can help spread awareness of childhood cancer at their school. 

 

We wanted to end the session on a fun and memorable note.  So we provided candy treats and a corn hole tournament.  Candy and corn hole reflect some of the Foundation's activities, as we host an annual Post Halloween Candy Drive (which stocks our in-patient Snack/Item Carts) and Corn Hole Tournament (which raises funds to run our psychosocial programs) at our annual Walk & Family Festival. 

Curefest 2018 on the Washington Capitol Mall

September 16, 2018

Every September, the childhood cancer community unites on the Capitol Mall as one voice against childhood cancer.  Thousands of people walk three miles around the US Capitol and the Washington Monument, network with each other, and raise awareness for the number one killer of children by disease in our country.

 

This is Mattie Miracle's fifth year at Curefest, spreading awareness about the importance of psychosocial support in cancer care  and to remind advocates that Childhood Cancer is NOT just about the medicine.  The event enables families to unite together and support one another through their family's cancer journey.  

We met hundreds of people under our Mattie Miracle tent. However, one mom (Linda) in particular left a lasting impression on us.  Her son, Charlie, had just died a week ago.  Yet she bravely came to this event to honor her son's memory.  Linda told us that she and Charlie had met us two years ago at Curefest.  Linda wanted us to know that we made an impression on Charlie, so much so that he took our brochure highlighting the Psychosocial Standards of Care back to his treatment center in Syracuse., NY  Charlie used our brochure to advocate for psychosocial support for himself and other teenagers at his hospital.  Charlie changed the nature of how supportive care is now provided to others and we are honored to be a part of his legacy. 

Mattie Miracle Mentioned During NCI's Webinar on the Psychosocial Impact for Childhood Cancer

The National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently held an hour long webinar discussing the psychological and social impacts that childhood cancers have on the children, their siblings, parents, friends and others – and how research and therapies are being created to address these needs. Presenting during the webinar were Dr. Lori Wiener and Dr. Maryland Pao, both research team members of Mattie Miracle's Standards project.

Sharing a parent perspective at the Institute of Medicine workshop on Comprehensive Childhood Cancer Care

In March 2015, The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) National Cancer Policy Forum and the American Cancer Society hosted a workshop in Washington, DC entitled, Comprehensive Cancer Care for Children and their Families.  The workshop convened a multidisciplinary group of renowned health care professionals that highlighted the importance of integrated cancer care for children and their families. Mattie Miracle shared a parent perspective at this key conference and was proud that so many of the core psychosocial professionals working with the Foundation on the Standards of Care Project were represented at this event.

National Sponsorship at CureFest 2015 on the Washington Capitol Mall

In September, the childhood cancer community and the general public unite on the Capitol Mall as one voice against childhood cancer. Thousands of people walk three miles around the US Capitol and the Washington Monument, network with each other, and raise awareness for the number one killer of children by disease in our country. Mattie Miracle is proud to participate and sponsor this national event, an event which enables families to unite together and support one another through their family's cancer journey.  Read more about CureFest HERE

Awarded the MedStar Georgetown University Flame of Hope

In March 2014, the Hospital bestowed Mattie Miracle with its highest honor for inspiring hope in others and for its significant contributions to children with cancer on both the local and national levels.

American Psychosocial Oncology Society Distinguished Public Service Award

In February 2013, Jimmie C. Holland, M.D., widely recognized as the founder of psycho-oncology, awarded the co-founders of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation with a Distinguished Public Service Award at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society Conference in Huntington, Beach, CA. Mattie Miracle was awarded this honor for spearheading the national psychosocial standards of care project for childhood cancer and hosting the first pediatric think tank at the conference. 

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Special Recognition Award

In November 2011, the Hospital recognized Mattie Miracle for creating the Mattie Miracle Child Life Program Fund at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, a fund that pays the salary of a child life specialist at the Hospital. 

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© 2019  MATTIE MIRACLE CANCER FOUNDATION.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation

P.O. Box 6485
Arlington, VA. 22206-0485

A 501(c)3 Public Charity

EIN: 27-1238358