Mattie Stepanek made a big impact in his short 13 years of life. He was awarded the Force for Good Lifetime Achievement award just months before he passed away due to complications from Muscular Dystrophy. He was internationally known as a best-selling author of five books of poetry, as a peace advocate and as MDA's National Goodwill Ambassador from 2002 to 2004.
Jerry Lewis, MDA national chairman, said, "Mattie was something special, something very special. His example made people want to reach for the best within themselves. It was easy to forget how sick he was because his megawatt personality just made you want to smile."