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 up 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 bestselling author, publishing six collections of his Heartsongs poetry and eventually selling over 2 million copies of his books. He gave inspirational speeches to thousands and became an ambassador for his illness. He also knew his heroes personally, including Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Carter and Maya Angelou. But his legacy lives strongest in his decision to live celebrate life and perceive it as a blessing even during the most painful moments. It is that legacy that Jeni Stepanek, as only his mother could, honours with Messenger. Recounting the amazing details of his life, and the powerful reach of his message, we also gain a picture of an ordinary boy who happened to be facing a life-threatening health situation. It remembers him as he wanted to be remembered, as 'the poet, the peacemaker and the philosopher who played'.

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