BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Burke County man, whose 8-year-old son wrote President Donald Trump a letter, is scheduled to have kidney surgery in October.
Around Christmas, 8-year-old Fore Putnam wrote letters to Santa Claus, Ivanka Trump, and President Donald Trump. In them, he made an emotional plea for help in finding his dad, Trae, a kidney.
Amy Elliott wrote that Trae’s surgery is scheduled for mid-October. Elliott posted the initial response from Trump on Facebook in March.
“The attention garnered from our story is what made this happen - a huge thank you from the family for helping spread the word,” Elliott wrote.
The “Trae Needs a Kidney” GoFundMe had raised $48,000 of the $50,000 goal.
“Dear Mr. President,” the letter read, “My dad has been sick for a long time. He has to have a kidney to live.”
Fore wrote the letter around Christmas time, telling the president that a new kidney for his dad would be the only thing he wanted for Christmas. "And maybe one toy," he wrote.
In March, he got a response in the mail from the White House.
"My grandma called and said, 'you got a letter in the mail from the White House,' and I was like, 'what?'" Fore said.
Fore’s face is adorable when he describes how he reacted to news that the White House had sent him a letter.
It only took ten minutes for Fore and his dad to make it over to his grandmother’s house. It took far less time than that for Fore to tear open the envelope. In fact, the yellow manila folder marked “Do Not Bend” is torn almost in half.
"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," Fore said.
In April, Trae and his mother Sheila flew to New York City to meet with doctors from NYU about getting the transplant.
Trae has been battling a rare blood disorder that has caused his kidneys to lose all function for more than three years. He goes to five-hour dialysis appointments three times a week.
"On those days I'm so sick I can't really do anything," Trae said, "And sometimes - the other days - I'm pretty sick, too."
Fore told WBTV he felt compelled to write the letters for help so he could get his old dad back.
"My dad's been on dialysis for three and a half years and we haven't gotten to play golf or football or any of that," Fore said.
“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,” Trae said.