17 Beautiful Photos of Dads Helping Their Kids Through Chronic Illness


As Father’s Day approaches this weekend, we want to take a moment to recognize all the amazing dads who go above and beyond in supporting their children with chronic illnesses. Whether it’s driving you to doctor appointments, cooking your favorite meal or holding your hand while you’re up all night in pain, dads are truly pillars of strength and examples of compassion, wisdom and courage.

We asked our Mighty community to share photos of the men in their lives who are helping their children navigate life with a chronic illness. To all the dads out there who care for their chronically ill kids: Thank you for everything you do, and for giving your kids your unconditional love and support.

Here’s what the community shared with us:

1. “Daddy always holds Giovanni’s hand as we walk into the children’s hospital for appointments.”

dad holding the hand of his son who is in a wheelchair

2. “I grew up watching my dad fight his chronic illness. At the same time I was ill myself in search of a diagnosis. I now have five. I don’t think I would be in the position I am today to handle my illnesses if it wasn’t for the example set by my dad. He would continue to work his hardest and always be optimistic. He has also been by my side to support me in my own rough times. He’s the greatest.”

side by side photos of dad and daughter, one when she was younger and one on her wedding day

3. “My dad (and his girlfriend) talking to doctors about getting me lidocaine for an IV before my MRI to check on the growth of my tumors from neurofibromatosis. He’s taken care of all my hospital bills and been there through surgery, CT/PET scans, MRI’s, everything. I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

a woman's dad and his girlfriend talking to the doctors

4. “This was my husband holding our daughter pre-transplant last year. He pours everything into our family and I’m so grateful for all he does.”

dad holding young son before transplant

5. “Hugs the night before her second open heart surgery in hospital family accommodation last year.”

father sleeping with baby daughter the night before her open heart surgery

6. “This is a photo of my dad and I on our flight to Chicago, a late college graduation present for me. It was late because I graduated in December, and Chicago would have been far too cold for me to handle with my fibromyalgia. What this photo doesn’t show is him helping me walk when I got tired, and pushing me around in a wheelchair when it was too painful for me to walk. He is wonderfully supportive and always ready to help. I’m lucky to have a dad like him.”

selfie of a woman and her dad on a plane

7. “This is my dad. Even though he is in a wheelchair he still helps me and other [disabled] people we know. He mows lawns every week and does many other things.”

man in a wheelchair cooking on the grill

8. “My dad was the only person who was truly hearing me when I said that I knew I was sick. He constantly reminds me of how important it is to take care of myself now – that my health comes before anything else. There’s hardly a day that I wake up without a message from him with more research on how to help alleviate symptoms, improve my health, new studies on this disease or just encouragement to get through the day. I know that no matter what, he is in my corner and I am ridiculously lucky to have a dad that offers me so much love and support daily.”

woman dancing with her dad on her wedding day

9. “In too much pain to play on the beach so Dad is sitting with her, physically and emotionally supporting her. One of my absolute favorite pictures.”

dad supporting daughter next to the beach

10. “To my dad and stepdad. Shoutout to these two for always supporting me and continuing to support me. Making my illness easier to deal with by reducing my stress, making me laugh, being a taxi at times. They make dealing with chronic pain bearable. Don’t know what I’d do without them.”

photos of a woman with her dad and her stepdad

11. “My son-in-law holding our sweet baby girl, Mabel, who passed away at age 5 from Batten disease. The best Daddy ever.”

man feeding young daughter with a bottle

12. “Me and dad… Always helps me with everything. Stuff around the house, doing groceries, my car, going to doctors and the hospital, anything.”

dad and young daughter in a raft on a lake

13. “My hubby takes care of his MEN-1 [multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1] wife and two MEN-1 kids. He’s a blessing from above!”

dad smiling with three kids

14. “My husband holding our little man. Richy has autism and EDS [Ehlers-Danlos syndrome]. He’s been there through meltdowns, boo-boos and hospital stays.”

dad holding his son

15. “My dad spoon-feeding me when I was too weak to do it myself. I cannot thank him enough for all he does to support me.”

dad spoon-feeding his daughter in the hospital

16. “I’ve had chronic pain since I was 8 years old. I’m now 22. Nearly every doctor visit in the last 14 years, my dad has taken me to. Every specialist, every PT appointment, he’s been there. He still takes me, to this day, to every appointment. He has sacrificed so much to care for me and I’m so grateful that he has. He has supported me in everything. He and my mother are the reason I’m here today. Thank you daddy.”

dad and daughter smiling outside

17. “My hubby and son at his 6th birthday party.”

dad helping son in wheelchair blow out candles on his birthday cake


17 Beautiful Photos of Dads Helping Their Kids Through Chronic Illness

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