Poet, Potter Fan Mattie Stepanek Dies at 13
Jun 23, 2004
Poet, New York Times best selling author, Muscular Dystrophy Association spokeman, and Harry Potter fan Mattie Stepanek has died due to complications of a rare form of that disease.
Mattie gained attention in 2001 when he appeared on the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon. In that same year, he published a volume of poetry, Heartsongs, which he began writing at age 3 to mourn the death of a sibling. Through the My Hero Project, Mattie had the opportunity to meet former President Jimmy Carter, whom Mattie called “a role model for my life now and for my future.” Mattie appeared in 2002 on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where he met Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, who presented him with a wand used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Heartsongs was followed by other volumes of poetry.
Mattie was preceded in death by two brothers and a sister, all from the same disease. He leaves his mother Jeni, who has adult-onset muscular dystrophy, and his service dog, Micah.