It was an early Halloween for a group of kids on Newfoundland's west coast this week — to help a friend who otherwise would have missed the big night.
Connor Butt of Stephenville and a bunch of his pals hopped aboard a school bus in banana suits and other costumes on Tuesday night so Connor wouldn't miss out on one of his favourite holidays.
The 12-year-old has cancer, and his next chemotherapy session is scheduled for Monday, the day after Halloween, at the Janeway Children's Health Centre in St. John's — on the other side of the island, 765 kilometres away from his home.
He was disappointed when he realized he would miss the actual day. But he says celebrating a few days earlier made it the best Halloween ever.
And it's all thanks to his mother, Nadine Butt, who was determined to bring a smile to her son's face.
"Halloween is something he really loves to do. Every year it just gets bigger and bigger. And I hated the thought of him missing that," said Butt.
Along with the mothers of her son's friends, she organized a bus tour to visit 20 houses of family and friends.
It was a night for Connor to just be a kid with his friends, she said — friends who are very loyal.
"For 12-year-old boys, you wouldn't think they would be so protective over Connor. They're very much there for him every step of the way," said Nadine Butt.
When the Butts pulled up to the bus, his buddies stood cheering outside.
"It was pretty cool. When I showed up there they were all chanting my name," said Connor.
Nadine says it's great to have the support from his friends the whole community.
"People in the Stephenville and surrounding areas have been an amazing support for us. I don't know how to thank everybody."