KAHUKU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Harry and Donna Brown adopted Kahiau even after doctors warned them cerebral palsy would confine him to a care home. Their home became his home.
"He can't walk or talk, and he can't help himself with many things. But he understands everything. He knows what's happening," Donna Brown said.
During his 18 years, Kahiau has suffered from hydrocephalus and scoliosis. If that wasn't enough, Harry was diagnosed with cancer. Then a few months ago he had a stroke.
"It was like I was getting ready to go make the flower arrangements for my casket. I was skinny, lost a hundred something pounds," he said.
Harry used to work at the Polynesian Cultural Center. He is still weak but getting better. Donna takes care of her husband and her son.
"These challenges actually helped us to see what is really most important, that's your relationship with people," she said.
Medical bills consume much of their money, so Christmas will be lean. They could use gift certificates to buy clothes for Kahiau, but their greatest wish isn't material.
"It's time together. Time to share all the things, live all the dreams, and take all the adventures we wanted to have," Donna said.
The Browns insist raising their son has taught them to focus on their family.
"There isn't anything in the world that is more precious to me than my son and my wife," Harry said.
Eighteen years ago doctors said there was little hope for Kahiau. The Browns are thankful they didn't listen to that advice.