Disease fight hits home for retired North Fort Myers firefighter

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NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A 3-year-old with muscular dystrophy is stunning doctors and benefiting from years of fundraising his great-grandfather did.

Carter Rhodes was never supposed to be able to walk, doctors said, but he proved them wrong. Still, he faces an uphill battle to survive into his 20s.

Leroy Nottingham spent decades trying to help children who struggle against the disease. The retired firefighter helped raise more than $170,000 in the last year alone through the Muscular Dystrophy Associaton “Fill the Boot” campaign.

Now, the fight is personal.

Nottingham’s great-grandson needs two surgeries a year and has to wake up in the middle of the night, every night, to receive therapy. The disease affects Carter’s muscles, lungs and spine.

But, Carter seems to have inherited a passion for overcoming obstacles.

“God didn’t forget him, I tell you that,” Nottingham said. “He gave him good brains.”

A barbecue fundraiser for Carter will take place 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Judd Park, 1297 Parkview Court in North Fort Myers. Click here for more information.

You can also visit Carter’s GoFundMe page here.


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