An 8-year-old North Carolina boy who asked President Donald Trump for helped getting a donated kidney has gotten an unexpected response back from the White House, according to his family.
Fore Putnam of Burke County wants the kidney for his dad, Trae Putnam, who has been on dialysis for three years because of a rare blood disease, according to a Facebook post.
The boy asked his grandmother, Shelia Sherrill, who could help and she suggested Santa or the president. He wrote both and to the family's surprise, Trump wrote back saying the White House staff is "working to see what help they can provide" his dad.
"It is clear that you care so much for him," states the letter, dated March 16. "I can tell you are a brave young man with a big heart. I admire your determination to make sure your dad has the support and resources he needs to feel better. I hope you know how much joy and encouragement you already bring him."
A family friend, Amy Elliott, posted the letter on Facebook Tuesday and Sherrill said the response has been overwhelming. Ten people have called with offers to donate a kidney, she says, including a Connecticut man who called her at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Others have donated cash for medical bills, she said.
"We were surprised the president wrote back. He's a busy man," she said, noting the boy wrote the letters at Christmas. "Fore was kind of in awe. None of us knew it would get this big."
The attention comes at a time when Trae Putnam finds himself a recently single dad, raising his son on disability, she said. Fore is a third grader, with a love of football, dogs and teaching himself to play the guitar, Sherrill said.
"It really has given me hope," Trae Putnam told CBS News. "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."
He also told CBS that he had no idea his son had written the letter and that his family was completely shocked by the response from President Trump "with a signature and everything."
Sherrill says she is impressed that her grandson had the drive to write the White House, and she can't help but cry every time she reads how painfully honest he was with the president. The boy even included his phone number, in case Trump wanted to call.
"My dad has been sick for a long time," Fore wrote. "I want him to get better so he can get a job again...Sometimes my dad cries and it makes me sad...Please get my dad a kidney. Love, Fore Putnam."