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Mattie Stepanek

WE LOVE YOU, MATTIE

Kelly from Evansville, WI usa - 07-Feb-02 at 11:27 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie is my hero, because I am a 19 year old girl who's 13 year old brother has cancer. I have been in the PICU and seen all of the children. He makes sense of life, and when I read his Poems I almost always say in my head "You tell them Mattie!!" Mattie along with my brother have made me relize that life is a precisous gift, and everything about it is increadibly amazing. Thank you Mattie for reminding me that when I get lost, to always listen to my Heartsong, and I will know the way. You are an amazing soul and I thank the spirits up above for allowing such a beatiful soul to come to this earth.

Kim Clopton from Garland, Texas U.S.A. - 05-Feb-02 at 04:14 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie is more than my hero. I am a 4th grade teacher in Plano, Texas. I have the consensus of my 80 students that Mattie is truly a saint on earth. He has inspired my class to such a degree that we devote time each day before we dismiss to reading his poems. It is like my class can't hear his poems enough. My class is in so much awe of Mattie's perserverance and his special perception of God's gifts and the beauty he sees in the simple things we often take for granted. My children have learned more through Mattie's example and his messages of peace and hope than any text book could ever deliver. I want to thank Mattie along with my entire class for opening your heart to us, and most importantly for communicating your message of love and peace throughout the world. We would love to send you a special correspondence but don't know how. Could anyone please help us with this? It would be greatly appreciated... Ms. Clopton and St. Mark's 4th grade class

Renga from Delhi, Delhi India - 31-Jan-02 at 12:52 AM.
My hero is: mattie stepanek. Mattie has shown us what it means to be alive

al crish j. de leon from manila, philippines - 27-Jan-02 at 07:33 PM.
My hero is: mattie stepanek.

i think you're my hero MATTIE. i've seen you in the oprah show. and since then i felt peace in my heart that i haven't felt before, and i thank you for that. and one more thing, i want to buy your book so i can read your poems, your aspiring poems and i will share it with my family & friends..i hope your book will soon arrive in our country. god bless & i hope you live longer so you can help more people.

Linda Johnson from Crystal, MN USA - 24-Jan-02 at 08:34 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I admire Mattie. To have such a positive outlook on everything he does and everything that happens to him is an inspiration to every human being. I first saw Mattie on TV right after I had successful surgery for esophageal cancer. I thought, if this small boy, who speaks with the wisdom of the ages, is not afraid to live each day to the fullest, then I have nothing to be afraid of. Thank you Mattie for your words of wisdom, kindness and love. The world needs more Matties.

RJ Sandefur from Okeechobee, Florida United States - 23-Jan-02 at 08:31 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. My name is RJ Sandefur. Mattie Stepanek is my hero because he taught me things about my own life that I need to know. I began emailing Mattie tow muths ago. To days agfter christmas, my uncle passed away, and I emailed Mattie and told him of my uncle's death. He emailed me back, and told me that he was sorry about my uncle's. By doing this, Mattie showed his true colors. In the mist of his own pain and suffering he still reached out the hand of christian love, and offered to me. I want to tell all of the people who will read this message the same thing I tell Mattie, Never give up.

Laurie Strouss from Scottsdale, Arizona USA - 22-Jan-02 at 01:01 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I recently rented the movie, Ghandhi, for the first time. He's a beautiful, selfless and loving person .Then I heard about Mattie Stepanek.I am so incredibly proud of him and moved by his eloquence of words. He really is a true inspiration to all of us. I am getting married Feb. 2nd and my dream would be a poem to read about love, written by Mattie. Mattie, my prayers are with you always.

Annette Smith from Seattle, Wa. America - 19-Jan-02 at 10:31 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie, I just read your book Heartsongs. It is a wonderful piece of writing. My favorite poem is The Importance of Windows. It is written so clearly, so lovely, I will memorize it! I am going to order another copy of your book from Amazon and send it to my friend Chris. She is going through chemo and is a little down on some days. Your book will surely help. Again, thank you for all your wonderful words! Sincerely, Annette Smith

Jessica DiDomenico from Toronto, Ontario Canada - 17-Jan-02 at 12:46 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie has touched my heart and soul. With his eloquent wise words, he speaks for all children, big and small. Through his poetry, you can once again connect with the true beauty of life and open a heart that has been closed. Mattie, thank you for finding me. I truly do love and thank you for your gift to us all. You are my favorite Star of All. Jessica DiDomenico - Toronto

Kellie Harris from El Paso, Texas USA - 16-Jan-02 at 08:13 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Wow!!!! I am overwhelmed by the emotions that have been stirred up inside my heart. Mattie is an untamed source of inspiration, a seemingly endless good comes from that little guy's heart and soul. Just when you are having a bad day and feeling sorry for yourself because you bounced a check or had a bad date...along comes Mattie...and he brightens up your day. I keep his books on my desk and all I have to do is look at them and I smile. I have two children, 7 and 8, and they are so inspired by Mattie as well. He makes them want to read and learn as much as they can, and he as emphasized caring of others to them. Thanks Mattie...you are truly a Poet and a Peacemaker.

Chris Selden from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States - 16-Jan-02 at 08:52 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie Stepanek is my hero because in this time of war and death it's nice to know that there is still at least one person still spreading the message of peace. Mr. Stepanek although I'm 27 I hope to grow up to be just like you someday.

K. Carter from Canada - 15-Jan-02 at 09:35 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Thank you Mattie for the gifts of wisdom you share with us. Your vitality and wonderment for life has touched my soul. Your presence on this earth makes me want to be a better person. Thank you for being an angel on earth for all of us.

Tammi C. from Denver, CO USA - 15-Jan-02 at 09:02 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I have just recently become "acquainted" with this amazing young man and can honestly say that never in my life has anyone affected me so deeply. He is a light and a inspiration for all the world and has helped me to remember that part of myself that is most special and connected to all the universe. Thank you Mattie!

virgil bentley from gallipolis, oh us - 15-Jan-02 at 03:45 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanik. Today i saw and angel on tv. I am a father of a son with Down Syndrome and the joy i get from him daily. like fixing my supper, waffles with lots of butter. Yes, Mattie i thought i had lost my heartsongs, i now listen to them and how beautiful they are. My thanks to God for you my little hero. I love you and well keep you in my heartsongs of prayers, cause you are a true messenger of peace. God be with you my little friend.

Bea from Wabash, IN USA - 15-Jan-02 at 10:16 AM.
My hero is: Mattie and Marlene. >Mattie and Marlene are both heroes in their own right. We know about Mattie and everyday I pray for him, and when I do, I add my best friends name to my prayer for Mattie.

She is facing her 4th battle of cancer in 4 years and she doesn't want to die. She is a mother, grandmother and the greatest friend. And her spirit makes me want to fight for a cure and battle for her life.

Heroes are simple ones who fight the fight and battle the battle and see arise each day with a reason and purpose to live.

Lela Curtis from granite City, Illinois USA - 15-Jan-02 at 08:38 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. A child who is teaching us lessons far beyond his years. Listen to Mattie's Heartsongs and your own heartsong will be lighter and more melodious.

Karrie Stackpoole from Lincoln, CA United States of America - 14-Jan-02 at 10:04 PM.
My hero is: Mattie J.T. Stepanek. He's my hero for many reasons. He not only has touched thousands of lives, including mine, but he has such a big heart, which bares so much love, for so many people. I saw him on the Oprah Winfrey Show and I thought to myself "one day i want to be just like him." My mission in life has always been to leave some type of influence on the world or at least to my family and closest friends. To think that some people wake up and say to themselves "I hope today is a good day." Mattie helped me see that everyday is a good day, and you shouldn't ever take your life for granted. I used to be afraid to die, but now I know that your soul never dies. It lives on forever. Now I have another mission to add to my life, and it is that one day maybe I'll meet this courages and brave little boy named Mattie.

Deborah Perry-Mastenbroek from Yonkers, New York USA - 14-Jan-02 at 08:49 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie Stepanel is one of the most inspirational people in the world today. I have had my own trials in life, including a bout with syringomyelia, a degenrative spinal disease. I've had five spinal surgeries in an effort to combat this disease. So far, so good (hah!). I think I'm finally done with operating rooms though. And happy to report that God has much more in store for me. That's how I was able to get off that operating table and STAND! Mattie your poetry is so pure. You are truly anointed. I love you Mattie, and wish you well on your journey through life. Your Heartsongs and God will guide you through.

Maria Shehtman from Thornhill, Toronto, ON Canada - 14-Jan-02 at 07:45 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I would like to take this opporatunety to let everyone know what an amazing person Mattie is. He has inspired me in many different ways through his poems, and words from the heart, heartsongs. He is a blessing to this world, and is an individual who will make this world a truly better place. He is his own person, a unique, smart, and beautiful human being. And although I have never had the change to meet Mattie in person, which would be a dream, I have the privilige to read his beautiful writing and to pass on the important messages that come from his generous and giving heart. And I think that it is so important for him to continue doing what he does so well, writing poetry and be a peacemaker, because it helps so many of us humans to wake up each morning and be thankful that another wonderful day has gone by, and to appreciate what life has to offer each and everyday, whether it's a simple visit to the park, or a look outside the window at the world that lies ahead outside. Thank you Mattie so very much for being a true Hero that inspires and touches all peoples hearts.

Christi Malasto from Indianapolis, Indiana USA - 14-Jan-02 at 03:30 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. Mattie, I was a pediatric nurse on a burn unit before retiring to have my child and can say that no one could ever touch the lives of those suffering children and give them more comfort and insightfulness as to how to deal with the "every day" than you, my friend. I wish you could forever be in those sick, sick children's rooms. You are a living angel on earth an inspiration to us all! I have never been so completely fulfilled with such a sense of peace than after I "met" you. God Bless and Keep You...You special and incredible child.

Pamela Richardson from Garland, Texas USA - 14-Jan-02 at 02:50 PM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I saw Mattie today for the first time on Oprah. He reminds me so much of my son that died two years ago. They are both old souls in a young body as well as wise. He reminded me that I am still here for a reason and to continue to remember the simple things; heartsongs. I love you Mattie!

Jennifer Lennon from West Haverstraw, New York USA - 09-Jan-02 at 08:55 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I think Mattie is the most inspirational person on this planet. I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a form of Muscular Dystrophy and, although I have led an extremely normal life, I never wanted to have children. My disorder is hereditary and I always felt that I should not pass this disorder onto anyone else. I am thankful for my life and I have been VERY fortunate, regardless of my disorder (someone without my disorder would be thankful for my life). I am 32 years old and I am getting married in November, 2002. I must say, that I now have a slightly different outlook on the subject of having children. I hope they are just like Mattie.

Janna from Federalsburg, Maryland USA - 08-Jan-02 at 05:40 PM.
My hero is: Mattie . Up until October my list of heroes was filled with athletes and political figures. However, this all changed the day I saw an interview with Mattie on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was so struck by his bravery, compassion, and inner beauty. I rushed to buy his book that weekend and it is now a favorite in my Third Grade Classroom. Mentions of P Diddy and Britney Spears as my students' idols have disappeared as they have proclaimed Mattie Stepanek their new hero! Thank you Mattie and may God continue to bless you in your glorious endeavors.

Pat Donahue from Hanover, NH USA - 02-Jan-02 at 08:42 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek. I saw a television piece on Mattie and he reminded me of some things I have forgotten. At 29, I have already lived quite a full life, having been a Naval Officer, a software developer, and now about to recieve my MBA. Mattie reminded me of an openess of mind and a life perspective that I know I had when I was 12 or 13, but that has become increasingly difficult to maintain as an adult. I'm glad he has recorded some of this perspective so that those of us who have difficulty maintaining it can refresh ourselves, and live better lives because of it.

Rhonda Hemby from Port St. Lucie, Florida U.S.A. - 30-Dec-01 at 08:58 AM.
My hero is: Mattie Stepanek . Mattie is the most genuine, and unselfish person in the world. He is on a mission from God, and I do believe God will not take him for many many years. Mattie is the true definition of a "Spirit lead Christian."

He touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I hope others will take the time to read Mattie's poetry. He left a mark in my heart and I know he will leave a mark on hearts of others. God Bless You, Mattie! Rhonda Hemby

Bernadette Rossing from Hartsdale, NY USA - 29-Dec-01 at 10:34 PM.
My hero is: My son Brandon S. Rossing. My Hero is and will always be my son Brandon. Brandon had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He passed away on oct 15, 2001 he was 19 years old. I was sent the abc News site on The story of Mattie Stepanek, my mom keeped telling me about this boy she seen on TV. Well i finally looked at it tonight and I think his poems are just beautiful and really made me feel good after reading them. He reminded me of my son Brandon and his wounderful out look on life. Nothing ever stopped him and he always thought about everyone else. So I think Mattie is a Hero too. And I will be buying his book to read the rest of his poems.And I wish him lots of luck and good heath and happiness always.


Page created on 8/16/2014 11:42:04 AM

Last edited 8/16/2014 11:42:04 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Books

Author Info


Mattie Stepanek published several best selling books of poetry: Heartsongs, Journey Through Heartsongs, Celebrate Through Heartsongs, Hope Through Heartsongs, and Loving Through Heartsongs. Recently, the teenage country music sensation, Billy Gilman, released a CD entitled, Music Through Heartsongs, featuring songs based on the poetry of Mattie. Everyday, Mattie touches the hearts of people worldwide as shown by the MY HERO guestbook entries devoted to this remarkable young man.


On Being a Champion
by Mattie J.T. Stepanek

A Champion is a winner,
A hero...
Someone who never gives up
Even when the going gets rough.
A champion is a member of
A winning team...
Someone who overcomes challenges
Even when it requires creative solutions.
A champion is an optimist,
A hopeful spirit...
Someone who plays the game,
Even when the game is called life.
There can be a champion in each of us,
If we live as a winner,
If we live as a member of the team,
If we live with a hopeful spirit,
For Life.

From the book JOURNEY THROUGH HEARTSONGS by Mattie J.T. Stepanek. Copyright (c) 2001 Mattie J.T. Stepanek. Published by Hyperion. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Poet and peacemaker hero Mattie Stepanek was always lobbying for children everywhere and was a big supporter of Children's Hospice International. These images, taken by Jim Hawkins, are from an event for Children's Hospice International. Next to Mattie is Angel Hero Ann Armstrong-Dailey, head of Children's Hospice International.