Schoolboy at last

Arrowtown youngerster Angus Beaton has spent much of his summer holidays practicing his swimming skills.
Arrowtown youngerster Angus Beaton has spent much of his summer holidays practicing his swimming skills.

Arrowtown youngster Angus Beaton has had to wait much longer to start school than he ever expected but next week, he will pack his schoolbag and walk to school for the first time.

Just months before his fifth birthday, Angus had his world turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a large stomach tumour and soft tissue cancer which also spread to his lungs and bone marrow.

Angus, his parents Gordon and Fritha and big sister Kate, spent most of 2012 in Christchurch where the courageous youngster put up an impressive battle against the dreaded disease.

Less than nine months after being diagnosed, doctors told the Beatons the cancer was gone.

"Going into remission now wasn't expected. The doctors don't say much, but they did admit that was a big milestone," his mother said.

However, Angus will continue to endure chemotherapy for another 12 months which means weekly trips to Invercargill.

The Beatons divided the summer holidays between their home in Cardrona and Invercargill but on Tuesday they moved back to Arrowtown for Angus and Kate to start school on Thursday.

"We've got a cottage across the road from the school. That's what Angus asked for, to be able to walk to school," Mrs Beaton said.

Angus will start in year 1 in a class of children he should have joined last year. He still gets very tired and was a little nervous about how he would cope with a whole day at school, but already he's made plans and worked out times when he can take a rest if needed, his mother said.

"I think it will be a good year. Things seem to be happening and falling into place."

And if Angus' Christmas wish for a "happy ending" comes true, Mrs Beaton's hunch could prove right.

The Mirror