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In Summer 2004 we said goodbye to a very special friend—Mattie Stepaneck. Known as a phenomenal poet, peacemaker and philosopher, Mattie was almost 14 years old when he passed away.

In and out of the hospital for years, Mattie fought a rare form of muscular dystrophy—a disease that had already killed two brothers and a sister. With a spirit like no other, and who former president Jimmy Carter called "the most extraordinary person I have ever known in my life," Mattie the peacemaker is finally at rest.

Before Mattie passed away, his mother Jenny shared what the final moments were like with her brave, peaceful angel.

"I looked at him and said, 'Mattie, it's okay to rest,'" Jenny says. "'You are everything God created people to be, you are everything God created you to be, you have done everything you came here for, and it's okay to rest. I love you.'"
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FROM: John Travolta Salutes Real-Life Heroes
Published on September 20, 2004

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