Mattie Stepanek writes “movingly and courageously about life and death, love and loss, faith and hope, innocence and joy. His struggle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy has given him wisdom and insight.”
About the Author
I am Mattie J. T. Stepanek,
My body has light skin,
Red blood, blue eyes, and blond hair.
Since I have mitochondrial myhopathy,
I even have a trach, a ventilator, and oxygen.
Very poetic, I am, and very smart, too.
I am always brainstorming ideas and stories.
I am a survivor, but some day, I will see
my two brothers and one sister in Heaven.
When I grow up, I plan to become
A father, a writer, a public speaker,
And most of all, a peacemaker.
Whoever I am, and what happens,
I will always love my body and mind,
Even if it has different abilities
Than other peoples’ bodies and minds.
I will always be happy, because
I will always be me.
Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek, best known as “Mattie,” wrote poetry and short stories since the age of three. His poems have been published in a variety of mediums and he has been an invited speaker for several seminars, conferences and television shows. In 1999, he was awarded the Melinda Lawrence International Book Award for inspirational written works by the Children’s Hospice International. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and many other programs. In addition to writing, Mattie enjoys reading, collecting rocks and shells, and playing with Legos. He has earned a black belt in martial arts, and in 2001, Mattie served as the Maryland State Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2002, he served as both the National Ambassador and the State Ambassador for the MD. He lived with his mother, Jeni, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where he was home schooled. Mattie died June, 22, 2004, just three weeks before his fourteenth birthday.