ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The first day of school can be tough for parents and students. It can be even tougher when it's your first day of kindergarten and your dad can't be there to comfort you.

That's what the son of a police officer fighting cancer thought was in store on Monday, but that wasn't the case.

"Today is the first day of school here at Kehrs Mill Elementary," said Chris Kaatmann with the Chesterfield Police Department. "And for a lot of folks, this is a big deal for their kiddos, especially incoming kindergarten."

It's an even bigger deal for the Mattaline family.

"Carmine was diagnosed with autism when he was 2, so we have been working hard, since that time to get him in the right therapies so he could go to a normal kindergarten," said Mary Mattaline, Carmine's mother.

All that hard work has paid off. Monday was his first day of school, but unfortunately, Carmine's dad Andy couldn't be there after hitting a rough patch in his cancer treatment.

Luckily, some of his co-workers with the Chesterfield Police Department could.

"A few of us got together and decided, 'Well, if Andy couldn’t be here to walk his son to school, we were going to walk him to school for him,'" Officer Kaatmann said.

Andy had no idea what his coworkers were up to, so he talked his doctors into letting him go on a little field trip.

"This is one of my biggest days, I did not what to miss this," Andy said through tears. "He means the world to me we have been through a lot together."

First days are about acclimation and its OK to feel lost. But with the love and support of family and friends, Carmine is on his way.

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