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Remembering Mattie
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Although he was only 11 years old when we first met him, Mattie J.T. Stepanek had already become a phenomenal poet, peacemaker and philosopher.

His battle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which claimed the lives of his three siblings and was threatening his own life, only seemed to make his spirit stronger. He used his incredible gift of insight to write poetry he called "Heartsongs," extending hope to people of all ages.

Mattie hadn't yet reached his 14th birthday when he passed away on June 22, 2004, but he made an immeasurable impact on the world in his lifetime. "From the moment I met Mattie Stepanek, I knew it was my privilege that this courageous little boy had drifted into my life," Oprah says.

Watch a tribute to our friend Mattie.fysrtvtybfrxrttx Watch
A bronze statue of Mattie at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland.
Mattie continues to inspire those who have heard his message. On October 21, 2008, hundreds of people who had been touched by his life gathered for the opening of Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland. A bronze statue of Mattie was dedicated to the park in his memory.

Oprah speaks at the opening of Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland.
At the opening of Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland, Oprah says: "He is still with us. He's in the trees, in the grass and in the hearts of all of us who loved him."
Mattie's service dog, Micah
Mattie's golden retriever service dog, Micah, pays his own respects to his beloved owner.

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