STORIES
Philosophers

Mattie J.T. Stepanek

by Anthony from Selden, New York

"Every journey begins with but a small step. And every day is a chance for a new, small step in the right direction. Just follow your Heartsong." -Mattie Stepanek's poem, "Facing the Future"
Matthew (Mattie) J.T. Stepanek, 1990-2004
Matthew (Mattie) J.T. Stepanek, 1990-2004

Mattie J.T. Stepanek was a boy about my age who changed the world. He had a rare disease known as dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy. He lost three siblings to that same disease. But going through those problems never stopped him; he was a writer, philosopher, and a peacemaker. He wrote many poems, made many speeches, appeared on many talk shows, and he had a big heart. Every day was a gift to him, and he knew he could change the world. Mattie Stepanek is my hero.

Mattie began writing at the age of three. It was a way to cope with all of the deaths in his family, including the deaths of his brothers Stevie and Jamie, and his sister Katie. The books he wrote were “Heartsongs,” “Journey Through Heartsongs,” “Hope Through Heartsongs,” “Celebrate Through Heartsongs” and “Loving Through Heartsongs.” Writing was how Mattie liked to express his feelings, his emotions and his point of view. His poems touched the lives of many people. Thank You, Mattie!


Mattie Stepanek was an inspiration to many people. He became a representative of Children’s Hospice International. He also became a Maryland State Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. There, he fundraised and helped people with diseases. He did a lot in his life. He helped people go for their goals. He never gave up. And he inspired me to never give up, either.

A hero is a person who did something to change the world. A hero is someone who went for what he or she wanted to do, without letting anything get in the way. A hero is kind, caring and courageous. That’s what a hero is in my eyes. Mattie was not only a hero, but an inspiration, and he will be remembered for decades to come.

In conclusion, I learned what a hero really is. Heroes are people who have so much strength and courage, nothing could stop them. Mattie Stepanek is my hero. He did so much in his short life. Sadly, he passed away in 2004. But this is not the end. His legacy will live on for a long time. Mattie Stepanek: poet, peacemaker, the one who changed the world.

Page created on 8/29/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/29/2011 12:00:00 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.

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