When 8-year-old Fore Putnam's mother walked out on him and his sick father, he turned to the President of the United States for help.
Around Christmas time, Fore wrote an emotional letter to President Trump to explain his circumstances and ask for the one thing he wanted for Christmas: a new kidney for his father, who's in need of a transplant. Also, noted the 8-year-old, "maybe one toy."
"Dear Mr. President," starts the letter. "My dad has been sick for a long time. He has to have a kidney to live. ... I want him to get better, so he can get a job again so we can play. My mom just left, so if my dad gets better, she might come back," Fore wrote.
"Please help my dad for Christmas. That's all I want for Christmas, and maybe one toy," he added.
For good measure, Fore also wrote letters to First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and, of course, Santa Claus himself.
On Monday afternoon, young Fore was informed by his grandmother that he had received a letter from the White House. That letter was from President Trump.
"I went to the mailbox and I got it out and it was in the official envelope," Sheila Sherrill, the boy's grandmother, told CBS News. "I really thought it's probably just a canned picture of him with some sort of canned response. But I called my son and told him that Fore had some mail here. And when we opened it, I was just in awe. As busy as presidents are, he took the time to write to an eight-year-old that has such a heart for his dad."
Fore recalled the news of the letter, too. “My grandma called and said, ‘you got a letter in the mail from the White House,’ and I was like, 'what?'" he described to WBTV.
Fore and his father made it to his grandmother's house in less than ten minutes and ripped open the envelope. “It said they were going to do what they can to help my dad get what he needs. So that gave me a little bit of hope,” said Fore.
The letter from Mr. Trump, in part, said, "I admire your determination to make sure your dad has the support and resources he needs to feel better."
"I have shared your letter with my staff, and they are working to see what help they can provide," added the president.
Trae Putnam, the boy's father, battles a rare blood disorder that has caused his kidneys to lose function for over three years now. According to WBTV, Trae has to have three five-hour dialysis appointments per week.
“On those days I’m so sick I can’t really do anything,” said Trae, “And sometimes — the other days — I’m pretty sick, too.”
Thanks to the publicity spurred by the letter, the family is hopeful for Trae's health prospects.
"I've been on the kidney list for three years and you kind of feel helpless, just like I'm never going to get it. But all of the people that've responded to it on Facebook, and people calling. We've actually had a few people give us their information that are interested in maybe donating," Mr. Putnam told CBS, adding, "I just want people to know how proud I am of my son. He's really special. He always thinks about everybody else more than he thinks of himself and that's rare for an 8 year old."
“One thing about my son, ever since I’ve been sick, he’s been right by my side helping me. And that’s the main reason I want to pull through — so I can be the dad that he deserves,” the boy's father noted in an interview with WBTV.
To help Mr. Putnam, the family has asked people to contact Ms. Sherrill at 828-291-7735.