Messenger : The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs
Author: Jeni Stepanek, Larry Lindner
When her son, Mattie, was born with a rare disorder now known as Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy, Jeni Stepanek was advised to put her child in an institution and let nature take its course.” Instead, she nurtured a boy who grew to become a young man who transformed his hardships into a message of hope and peace that touched millions. Mattie J.T. Stepanek was a best-selling author, publishing six collections of his Heartsongs poetry and one collection of peace essays that all became New York Times best-sellers and eventually sold more than two million copies; he gave inspirational talks to thousands and became the National Goodwill Ambassador for Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Association. But his legacy lives strongest in his choicehis decision to celebrate life and perceive it as a blessing even during the most painful moments. It is that legacy that Jeni Stepanek honors with Messenger. Telling the story of Mattie as only his mother could, Jeni Stepanek recounts the intimate moments of her little boy’s life, a life that became larger than life as his message spread across the world. In describing her son’s trips to the beach, his love of reading, his obsession with Legos®, his planning of a surprise birthday party for his mom, we see an ordinary child who just so happened to be facing a life-threatening health situation. In recounting Mattie’s sadness at losing all of his siblings to the same disease, his astonishing intellect, his belief that he was channeling God’s message into his poetry, and his dedication to spreading the message of peace he so believed in, we see the extraordinary boy who lived every day given to him to the fullest.
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Publication Date: 20091015
Subject: BIO026000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs,
About The Author:
Jeni Stepanek is the mother of Mattie Stepanek, the New York Times best-selling author and humanitarian, who passed away in 2004 from Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. Jeni lost three other children to that same neuromuscular disease and has the adult onset form herself. She holds a doctorate in early childhood special education and is an award-winning speaker, writer, and advocate. She lives in Rockville, Maryland.
Larry Lindner has penned numerous best-selling books ranging from memoirs to health titles and has published a long-running nationally syndicated column in The Washington Post and a column in The Boston Globe. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and son.