ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Bernalillo County Deputy Wesley Buster had no idea when he walked into a conference room in the law enforcement center, that he would see his good friend Riley Rutledge. Riley is 14 years old and loves football. That is how he met Deputy Buster. He was his Youth American Football League coach last year.
“Riley is an energetic young man. That is probably the most respectful young man I have ever had the privilege of coaching,” said Buster.
It was the summer before his freshman year of high school that Riley’s parents started to notice something was wrong.
“I pretty well required that we were gonna take him to the doctor and get him checked out. That’s when they found the mass,” said Ron Rutledge, Riley’s father.
That mass turned out to be stage four brain cancer.
“So, it was literally one minute we had a healthy little boy and the next he was dying,” said Catherine Rutledge,Riley’s mother.
Through everything, Deputy Buster stayed by Riley’s side.
“The times where he was just not able to speak or didn’t want to, they just sat there and understood and held his hand. Their support has just been immeasurable,” said Catherine Rutledge.
Deputy Buster has done everything from just sitting with Riley in the hospital, to helping raise around $2,000 for the family. He brought him milkshakes when he was craving chocolate, and even fought in his honor at Rumble in the Rio.
Riley wanted to show his appreciation to his good friend and former coach by presenting his with a plaque for all that he has done.
As for Buster, he plans to be by Riley’s side for a long time.
“Riley’s a fighter and he’ll get through this,” he said.
To donate to Riley’s medical fund click here.