11-year-old explains effects of government shutdown in letter to Trump

El Paso News

The night before President Trump announced he would sign a deal to re-open the governmet for three weeks, 11-year-old El Pasoan Abigail Lopez wrote a letter to him, explaining how the shutdown was affecting her family.

“Dear Mr. President, my name is Abigail Lopez and I am 11 years old…” read the letter. 

Abigail wrote that her father is a federal employee who works as a customs officer and, without his paychecks, the family is having a hard time getting by.

“He is not getting paid because you are using the money for your wall and it’s affecting us,” she wrote. “We don’t have that much money for that cost and we really need money for food costs, and our needs and my medication,” she said. 

At a young age, Abigail was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, for which she relies on daily medication.

Abigail’s mother says even with the government open temporarily, there’s no assurance they’ll get their next paycheck.

“There’s the uncertainty of, ‘Are we going to make it?’ for my son’s birthday, for her medication all coming up next month,” Abigail’s mother, Martha Lopez, said.

Lopez said there should be no reason for her to be asking for help. 

“Why should I be begging for something that I’m entitled to, my husband’s working, why should I be asking for money or ask for people to help me with her medication, my husband has a job, he’s going to work,” Lopez said.

She explained there is no way to understand her issue unless you’re dealing with the stress.

“Unless you are in this position, you won’t know how hard it is and how hard it’s been,” Lopez explained.

All they can do now is hope for the best.

“I hope that you are able to write me back soon and to think things through… your friend Abigail,” the letter concludes.

Abigail said she’s determined to keep writing to the president until things are changed.

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