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NEWS: Child poet Mattie Stepanek dies

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posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 09:56 AM
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Mattie Stepanek is known as a best selling writer / poet for his inspirational verse, he lost his battle with dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a form of muscular dystrophy, Tuesday at age 13.
 


Stepanek Article
Stepanek died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, the hospital said. He had been hospitalized since early March for complications related to the disease that impaired most of his body's functions.



Stepanek, of Rockville, had dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a genetic disease that impaired his heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and digestion, and caused muscle weakness.

His mother, Jeni, 44, has the adult-onset form of the disease, and his three older siblings died of it in early childhood

Stepanek began writing poetry at age 3 to cope with the death of a brother. In 2001, a small publisher issued a slim volume of his poems, called "Heartsongs." Within weeks, the book reached the top of the Times' best-seller list, the MDA said.

He wrote four other books: "Journey Through Heartsongs," "Hope Through Heartsongs," "Celebrate Through Heartsongs" and "Loving Through Heartsongs."

His poems brought him admirers including Oprah Winfrey and former President Carter and made him one of the best-selling poets in recent years.

Despite his condition, Stepanek was upbeat, saying he didn't fear death. His work was full of life, a quest for peace, hope and the inner voice he called a "heartsong."

"It's our inner beauty, our message, the songs in our hearts," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in November 2001. "My life mission is to spread peace to the world."

He is survived by his mother.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




What a incredible story. A lot of us get anrgy and upset with our lives and the things that we go through, which are trivial compared to this little man's life. He should be an inspiration to us all.

[edit on 6-23-2004 by Valhall]




posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 12:12 PM
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It is very sad to hear of these kind of things still happening with the medical technology of today. That is why i support stem cell research, it holds so much hope for degenerative diseases. However, I have to wonder why the mother, after learning that she was passing this to her children, had four kids whom have all succumb to the disease. I hope she spares any more sould from this torment.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:10 PM
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His mother didn't give birth to any of her children expecting them to inherit the disease and die.

This is a quote about the birth of her first child.

In December 1985, Jeni Stepanek gave birth to her first child. Her initial flood of joy quickly turned to horror. Baby Katie was diagnosed with a rare and especially ugly strain of muscular dystrophy.

"I was told she was a fluke of nature," Jeni said. "Million-to-one odds of this happening. They didn't even know why she kept trying to die."


She was already 7 months pregnant by the time her daughter died. The 2nd child had the same symptoms. Jeni Stepanek only became pregnant for a third time after being reassured by doctors she was likely to have a normal child.

The full article is here www.cbsnews.com...

One can only have sympathy for the Stepaneks. They did not knowingly decide to have children with muscular dystrophy.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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The story about Mattie Stepanek is about much more than a sick little boy. From the responses to this post, some of you may not have actually heard Mattie speak or read his work. Mattie was a remarkable person...had he lived a few more years I don't doubt that he would have been a contender for a nobel piece prize. This little man was wise beyond his years, and touched with a spirit of life that I only dream of. He was COMMITTED to peace, to breeding it, to glorifying it and to inspiring it. Reading a little 10 line poem will never give you the sense of the power or brilliance of Mattie. I have not in my life had such a sence of a "little mesiah" or "chosen one" among my ranks. I encourage you to find (and I'll look too) a link that shows him speaking. I don't have kids and but I do have one of his poetry books. I watched a program on Books on CSPAN or PBS. There was a room full of about 500 people. The little children were rolling around the floor smiling. The adults were staring at him with their jaws dropped, listening to his words and crying like babies. I cried in the car when I heard this news today. It was a little angel just left the planet and I could feel the balance of good swing back the other way just a little. Crap, I'm crying now.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 05:33 PM
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there is a big picture. if mattie were physically healthy he'd never have fully developed his gift for poetry (poetry ="the language of the soul") and if he lived a normal life no one would have sought out his message.... now people will pass around his books and sow this message into receptive minds- there are more receptive minds every day in my opinion.

think of the proverbial grain of sand in the oyster and how people pass around the giant pearl that finally develops from it...do they mourn the distress felt by the oyster?

like some others i believe people like "mattie" pick their bodies and life circumstances before birth- not only that, we're here to experience his death and decide what to do with it. so, go cry your tears.....but don't cry for the kid. he's done what HE came here to do....have we?



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by victor was right
there is a big picture. if mattie were physically healthy he'd never have fully developed his gift for poetry (poetry ="the language of the soul") and if he lived a normal life no one would have sought out his message.... now people will pass around his books and sow this message into receptive minds- there are more receptive minds every day in my opinion.

think of the proverbial grain of sand in the oyster and how people pass around the giant pearl that finally develops from it...do they mourn the distress felt by the oyster?

like some others i believe people like "mattie" pick their bodies and life circumstances before birth- not only that, we're here to experience his death and decide what to do with it. so, go cry your tears.....but don't cry for the kid. he's done what HE came here to do....have we?


Am I crazy or are you being hostile? What's this "go cry your tears stuff". I'm not crying for the kid (although it is said he's gone)...I am crying for humanity. Take a lesson in couth will you? I never said anything about his sickness, his body or otherwise. Maybe he did pick it. I'm talking about the quality of his thoughts dude. Geez.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 10:57 PM
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Just a note. I just heard of his life and went to his web page. There was only one poem there. It was written sept 12.2001. And it wasn't in the same vein as the typical responses here to problem moments, "kill them all and let God sort them out." This poem can be found on his website.

www.mattieonline.com...

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment…
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment…
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment…
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice…
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment…
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

September 12, 2001
© Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek


I told my girl friend about what I found. And she bought me a copy of one of his books.

May his soul now embrace Mankind......



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 11:24 PM
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What a talented writer! So tragic that he didnt live to experience a full life.



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