Despite all that has happened to Mattie, he says he still sees miracles in his life every day. "Even if the only thing that happens is my home-schoolwork, it's a miracle that I get to do that because I couldn't do it if I was in heaven," Mattie says. "In a way that's good, but in another way that's bad."
Poetry isn't Mattie's only creative hobby. He's also an avid rock collector, with rocks from all over the world including ones from Ireland, a German castle and a piece of the Berlin Wall. His latest addition to the collection is a rock he picked up just the other day in Chicago!
Oprah has a few more new rocks for Mattie to add to his collection: rocks inscribed with the words "Peace," "Wish," "Mattie," "Oprah" and "Heartsongs."
Sadly, Mattie died on June 22, 2004, but his positive impact on the world lives on.
Watch a video tribute to Mattie
Oprah talks to Mattie
Dr. Maya Angelou speaks with Mattie's mother, Jeni
Oprah helped dedicate the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Maryland