Re: “Holocaust survivor: ‘It’s what you give’ that defines you” (Dec. 7):

Thank you for the uplifting story in Monday’s Press Herald about Kurt Messerschmidt (and about purpose, thriving against adversity and offering others hope and joy with one’s unique gifts).

I have urged friends to not only read the article but also to enrich themselves by watching the video version online. There, one can sense the emotional nourishment that Mr. Messerschmidt’s powerful voice undoubtedly provided to others suffering the horrors of Auschwitz.

Mr. Messerschmidt’s story also inspired me to think through the many people, surroundings and experiences for which I am grateful. Some are the people and organizations who have pitched in to help fund research on the genetic disease, cystic fibrosis.

I am always amazed at how readily even perfect strangers step forward to help knock out this awful medical nemesis once they learn of the struggles and heartache it costs people with CF and their families.

Close family and friends, meanwhile, distribute the weight of our family member’s CF across many shoulders, making what would be an unbearable burden instead just one of many shared aspects of a very wonderful life.

I could never fully imagine Mr. Messerschmidt’s experience during and following the Holocaust. However, I think we all can appreciate his story and be inspired by his attitude.

I, for one, wish to thank him for reminding us to more fully appreciate the joys of life, whatever our struggles. Toda raba!

Patty Morris

Cape Elizabeth