Teen who successfully battled leukemia six years ago graduates from Splendora High School

Cristian Beasley will graduate from Splendora High School this year. While in the sixth and seventh grades, he battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

By Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

A Splendora senior is celebrating another milestone in his life – graduation – after successfully battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia six years ago. Cristian Beasley is now looking forward to pursuing a career in welding and possibly continuing his education at Lone Star College in Kingwood.

Six years ago, Beasley, son of Daniel Beasley and Amy Graham, both of Splendora, became well-known in his small community after a news story aired on a local television station in Houston about his use of a VGo robot that allowed him to sit in on his regular classes from his home. Beasley named the robot Watt, in part because of being an electrical device, but also in honor of his favorite football hero – Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt.

During that broadcast, Watt surprised Beasley and the pair have remained in contact since then. On Monday, May 20, Watt took to Twitter to congratulate Beasley for earning his high school diploma.

Watt wrote: “Want to wish a massive congratulations to my friend @cristianbeasley on graduating from high school this past weekend. We first met back in 2013 when he had leukemia and utilized a robot (which he named Watt) to still attend school during treatments. I’m proud of you, man!”

Beasley credits Watt with giving him encouragement at a time in his life when he desperately needed it.

“J.J. has impacted a lot of kids’ lives, not just mine,” Beasley said. “He came to my house and surprised me by hanging out with me for a few hours. It was one of the most important days of my life.”

The two still keep in touch through text messages, said Beasley, who added that he tries only to share the truly important things like graduation.

“It’s a privilege to be his friend. I try to be respectful of the fact that he is a busy person and has a lot of stuff going on in his life,” Beasley said.

Since first meeting Watt, Beasley said he has attended 5-6 Texans games at the stadium, but prefers to watch from home with his friends and family.

Now that he has completed high school, Beasley is eyeing his future. For now, he will pursue welding like his father but says that his dream job is to be a doctor.

“I think college for that is too much, so for now I decided to be what I know – welding. It’s a good job and pays well,” he said.

Beasley’s cancer is in remission but he still sees a doctor every six months to be certain.

“I think they say that after five years you are cured, but every year after that I will have to be tested to see if I am in remission. I just take it one day at a time and not plan that far ahead,” he said.

To other children battling health issues, Beasley offers his own encouragement.

“Always keep fighting and never give up. Fight for your dreams no matter how hard it might seem,” he said.

Photos for this story were generously provided by photographer Angel Rick Leal of Hardin.

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