Josselin Mencia, who did not want her face shown for privacy reasons, embarked on a journey almost 2,000 miles from her home in Honduras to seek medical care for her daughter. The migrant mother has faith that her daughter will one day be able to walk. (Thalia Juarez | Baltimore Sun)

Stories like that of Mencia and Brianna — of incredible struggle and suffering for access to health care — are far too common in the modern world (“A mother's pilgrimage: Carrying her disabled child, Honduran woman seeking medical care finds her way to Baltimore,” Jan. 24). Unfortunately, I suspect that many of these stories don't end at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center; many end in the desert, or in the border towns where lack of money, unreliable law enforcement and plain old bad luck bring their journey to a close.

Regardless of how we feel about immigration, regardless of whether we want a border wall, Americans should at least be able to agree that no mother should have to travel 2,000 miles to find treatment for her daughter. It is unacceptable that in the 21st century so many children fall victim to malnutrition, disease and all the other "symptoms" of poverty. Perhaps more ghastly is that those of us in the United States and the rest of the post-industrial world allow this to happen.

Advertisement

Very few wealthy countries do enough to help end global poverty, but here in the United States, we are especially bad. How much do you think we spend, as a percentage of our GDP, on humanitarian aid? Ten percent? Five percent? Maybe the cynics among you will guess 1 percent, but all three guesses are wrong. The actual answer is less than 1 percent.

That's shameful, and people like Mencia and Brianna are suffering as a result. I would encourage anyone who felt a stirring of pity for the plight of these two daring immigrants to contact their representative in Congress and ask them to support bills that will help alleviate the suffering in the world's poorest nations.

Alexander Lutton, Baltimore

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement