It has been almost seven years since this beautiful soul became a golden star to serve as an inspiration to the world.I had to write about Mattie(who I met just once)..but once was enough,to create the glow he stirred in my heart.
Mattie Stepanek suffered from dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a genetic disorder causing atrophy of the muscles and eventual death. Three of his siblings died from the disease, and his mother Jeni suffers from a version of it as well. He appeared on the 2001 Jerry Lewis telethon. On Good Morning America he was able to meet his hero, former President Jimmy Carter.
In 2002, he told Larry King, "We're divorced from my father because he did some mean and scary things to us." When pressed on the matter, he refused to divulge futher details other than he does not see his father.
Stepanek's book Heartsongs (2001) reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired the young musician Billy Gilman to record an album, Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poetry of Mattie J. T. Stepanek (2003).
I have a song, deep in my heart,
And only I can hear it.
If I close my eyes and sit very still
It is so easy to listen to my song.
His books in total sold over a million copies, spurred by appearances on the Oprah Winfrey and other shows. Locomotion required a wheelchair and ventilation, assisted by a "service dog", Micah.
For further information regarding Mattie and everything that lives on in his goodnesss..
The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation
Heartsongs by Mattie J. T. Stepanek
Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs by Jeni Stepanek
Hope Through Heartsongs by Mattie J. T. Stepanek
and several more books..
Mattie was one of the most wonderful and truly inspirational people I ever met.
You will be in awe..
Like Mattie always said,"Remember to play after every storm !"