'I'm right there with him': Dad dances in carpark to help son through cancer treatments


Coronavirus has kept loved ones apart all over the world this year, but there's no separation as cruel as a parent not able to be by their child's side while they're in hospital battling cancer. 

Although Texan dad Chuck Yielding isn't allowed to sit next to his 14-year-old son Aiden as he has his weekly chemotherapy sessions, he's found a unique and beautiful way to ensure Aiden knows he's right there with him.

He dances in the Cook Children's Medical Center carpark, outside Aiden's window.

Aiden, centre, with his family before diagnosis.
Aiden, centre, with his family before diagnosis. Photo: Facebook

Mr Yielding told TODAY Parents he and Aiden are "inseparable", so he knew he had to find a way to help his son, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukaemia earlier this year. 

"He's really been struggling with bone pain and it's hard not to be able to reach out and touch him," he said. "But what I can do is make him laugh."

So while Aiden's mum Lori Yielding, a nurse at the hospital, sits with Aiden and holds his hand, dad is busting some serious moves in the carpark. When Aiden is well enough, he joins in from his hospital room.

And while Mr Yielding won't be winning any prizes for dancing any time soon, he should definitely be up for dad of the year. 

Aiden thinks so too, telling TODAY, "My dad always cheers me up when I'm having a bad day.

"We've been creating our own dances since I was little. We get down with it!"

The devoted dad first came to public attention last week when Cook Children's Hospital shared a highlight reel of his best moves on their Facebook page. 

"Due to visitation restrictions, only one parent or caregiver is allowed into the medical center per patient," the caption read. "Every Tuesday while Aiden's mom joins him in the clinic for cancer treatment, his dad Chuck stands outside and dances to lift Aiden's spirits."

The video has been liked over 66,000 times and has attracted nearly 5000 comments of support. 

"Great job to that daddy!" said one commenter. "Way to be present when you can't be physically there! His wife and son will both never forget these moments."

Others commented on the "cruel" policy that sees parents having to choose just one of them to be by their child's side, calling for a change in COVID-19 policy. 

Aiden's mum told TODAY that the dancing started when Aiden was having a particularly difficult day in treatment, so she brought him to a window and called out to her husband.

"I knew Chuck could cheer Aiden up," she said.

It only took a few moments for Mr Yielding to be able to make Aiden smile.

"Their bond is unbelievably strong," Mrs Yielding said. "I mean you see them dancing, mirroring each other. They're just two peas in a pod."

When Mr Yielding isn't cutting loose in the carpark, he sits in a folding chair with his laptop and works.

"I want him to know I'm there," he said. "I'm right there with him always."

Aiden still has two years of treatment to go, but his prognosis is good. So until COVID-19 restrictions lift, we can expect to see a whole lot more of dad dancing in the carpark.