EUREKA, Mo. - The first day of kindergarten can be emotional for any child and their family, but when one family member can't be there for the big send-off because of a cancer diagnosis, it is even more emotional.
But Andy Matteline's brothers and sisters in blue stepped up to make sure his son, Carmine Matteline, had someone there to make sure the first day was documented correctly.
More than 20 police officers from 10 departments in Eureka, Missouri, lined the sidewalks to walk the 5-year-old to his first day of class, KTVI reported.
The elder Matteline is a police officer at Woodson Terrace and he's been in the hospital fighting esophageal and stomach cancer.
If the officers weren't enough of a surprise for Carmine, his dad was granted a special, last-minute temporary release from his hospital room so he could be at the milestone moment for his son.
Matteline was escorted by two nurses from St. Louis University Hospital and his brother-in-law who is also a doctor, KTVI reported.
The fact Matteline's co-workers could be there, and Matteline was also able to be out of the hospital for a few hours was special because Carmine has autism, and his mom and dad have been getting him ready preparing him for his first day of school.
Matteline told KTVI seeing his son go off to school was a dream come true.
"This is one of the biggest days and I didn't want to miss this. He means the world to me. We've been through a lot together," Matteline told KTVI.
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