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By Jeni Stepanek (author) with Larry Lindner (collaborator) An inspiring look at a young man who embodied the best of human nature, touched millions, and worked tirelessly for peace-told through the eyes of the woman who raised him. Oprah Winfrey has called him "an inspiration," Maya Angelou saw him as a kindred sprit and fellow poet, and Jimmy Carter described Mattie Stepanek as "the most remarkable person I have ever known. " When Jerry Lewis received his lifetime achievement award at the Oscars, footage of Mattie played behind him. Five years after his death from a rare neuromuscular disease, Mattie is still being celebrated for his indomitable spirit and message of hope. Now the world will get to know the full story of the poet, the peacemaker, the philosopher, and New York Times bestselling author in the first book to share all of the intimate details of his incredible life. In Messenger, Mattie's mother, Jeni Stepanek, recounts the years before Mattie got sick; how he handled the loss of his siblings from the same disease he had; his decision to spread the message of peace and hope; and how, when he became a celebrity, Jeni helped to keep him grounded, and remember to embrace being a kid. Including never-before- seen poems, journal entries, photos, and correspondence with famous friends, Messengeris an inspirational book about a life lived to the fullest. "Not a day goes by when I don't receive e-mails and letters saying that Mattie's poetry and speeches are not enough-people want to know about him directly and intimately. I am thrilled to have joined with Dutton so that I can now tell all his fans the full story behind my son. " - Jeni Stepanek Good Morning America.
In Messenger, Jeni Stepanek shares the inspiring story of her son's life. Mattie was born with a rare disorder called Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy, and Jeni was advised to institutionalize him. Instead, she nurtured a child who transformed his hardships into a worldwide message of peace and hope.
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