Pediatric dentist diagnosed with brain tumor gets support from community

CHARLOTTE — Carson Rutledge, a Charlotte-based pediatric dentist, has had two surgeries since he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor three weeks ago.

The 34-year-old dentist who has a passion for helping members of the community is now getting support from them since his life-altering diagnosis.

“I always enjoyed volunteering and helping out with different youth groups and different kids’ groups,” Rutledge told Channel 9.

In the beginning, Rutledge said he was having headaches and confusion and assumed it was work-related stress.

“I would start to mention, ‘Hey, did you hear what I said?’” said Jordyn McKey, Rutledge’s girlfriend. “Or it was like his sentences would get cut off in the middle of a sentence and he would maybe lose his train of thought.”

Rutledge’s diagnosis came days before a life-changing moment for McKey.

The couple was set to travel to High Point so she could compete in the Miss North Carolina USA Pageant.

McKey said she considered dropping out of the competition but followed through in Rutledge’s honor.

“We were able to watch her compete in the hospital, and support her from a distance, and so it was it was pretty magical,” Rutledge said.

“There’s nothing more that I wanted than to get through, make him proud, but get back home as well,” McKey said.

McKey won the pageant and Rutledge said he is grateful for his girlfriend’s support.

The community’s support has also brought the couple positivity.

“That’s the biggest thing is just keeping a positive mentality,” Rutledge said.

Rutledge has months of treatments ahead, including chemotherapy and radiation.

If you would like to help, visit his GoFundMe page.

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