From the bottom of my heart, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have been there for my nephew Skip Boldt through this most trying time in his life.
It's now been a year since Skip received his heart transplant, some days more difficult then others to just move forward with his life.
I'm so thankful to modern medicine to have given Skip this chance to be there for his children where his mother, my sister who left us at 33, didn't get the opportunity to see what a fine man Skip turned out to be.
His aunt on his mother's side, my sister, left us at age 19. Skip never met her. His uncle, George, left us at 44. All of them seemed to inherit some form of this illness, which I apparently escaped.
I've kept track of all the stories posted in this local newspaper and the calls made to Skip's home about his progress.
But it was the unselfish people of this community who stood by Skip, gave him the encouragement and support to be here with us today.
As Skip's only remaining family member from his mother's side, I am so grateful.
Although Skip reminds me we have nothing in common, he is still my nephew and I will always love him.
Thank you, people of Payson, for being there for Skip.
Eric Vonortleb, Bloomingdale, N.Y.