My grandma called me the other day and asked if I saw the story of Mattie Stepanek on Good Morning America. I had remembered vaguely hearing about him but did not know his story.
Mattie Stepanek died at the age of 13 from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy. Mitochondrial diseases fall under the umbrella of muscular dystrophies. His mother lost 3 of her children and then went on to develop the adult onset form of the disease and now spends her days in a wheelchair and on a ventilator. She did not know when she had children that she would pass this disease on to every one of them. Her story & Mattie's are incredibly inspiring. This little boy touched more lives in 13 years than you can even imagine! He had books on the New York times bestseller list and wrote a book with Jimmie Carter. He spoke about peace and hope.
His mother recently did an interview for GMA and you can watch the two videos here. They really give you a good idea about Mattie's outlook on life and are incredibly inspiring:
On September 11th, 2001 Mattie wrote this poem: