Punualii and Pulikikaua Kahanu are patients of Navian Hawaii and received gracious donations through our Little Things, Big Differences program. Both brothers suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“Caring for two sick children is an unfathomably difficult job that no one should have to tackle alone,” said Navian Hawaii President and CEO Tori Abe Carapelho. “This is why we created our Little Things, Big Differences program to provide support for parents and families by helping in small but meaningful ways. Our program helps to alleviate some of the burden on families while allowing them to be loving fathers, mothers, and siblings.”

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to the alterations of a protein called dystophin that helps keeps muscle cells intact. Both brothers have lost muscle mass in their limbs, heart and lungs.

Though they have limited function of their hands and legs, both Punualii and Pulikikaua enjoy spending time outdoors with their parents, reading books, and listening to music. Their declining conditions have taken a toll on their mother, who serves as their full-time caregiver, as well as their father, who travels frequently for his job. Resources like functioning air conditioning units would vastly improve their quality of life and enable them to enjoy quality time with their parents.

Mahalo to everyone who donated to Punualii and Pulikikaua and their family through our Little Things, Big Differences program! We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and willingness to help in a meaningful way.