Reporter: Peter Overton
Producer: Nick Greenaway
Every now and again, you meet someone who quite simply makes your spirits soar. That's how Peter Overton felt when he first met Nick Vujicic.
Nick was born in Australia without any arms or legs. Yet he lives a life that's more joyful and more fulfilling than most able bodied people we know.
All that was missing from his world was a special lady. Well, four years on, Nick is now a married man.
Recently, he invited Peter back to Los Angeles to meet the woman who's made his life complete.
If you want to contact Nick, or find out more information, visit www.lifewithoutlimbs.org.
Also, Nick's book Unstoppable - published by Allen & Unwin - is out now.
View our original story here.
NICK: Hey babe, you ever done a backflip before?
KANAE: No, never in my life.
NICK: Are you serious?
NICK:I’m a little nervous now, backflips are scary.
STORY – PETER OVERTON: Unique is the only word to describe Nick Vujicic, and his head-over-heels approach to life.
NICK: I can’t feel my legs.
PETER OVERTON: Nick was born without arms and legs, and growing up, feared he would have to swim through life alone.
NICK: I definitely had doubts that I’d ever get married, that I’d ever meet anybody who would ever love me, and spend the rest of their life with me, because I’m Prince Charming with a couple bits and pieces missing! And those things were important, you know, and I’d see everybody else has them, so why could I ever compete with all the other guys and ever find my princess?
PETER OVERTON: Now, at 29, Nick’s not only found his princess, he’s married her. And her name is Kanae.
NICK: I feel like a seal.
KANAE: To me it wasn’t any different falling in love with Nick, I fell in love with him the way he is now. Because I had dated other guys and I had gone for the physical, and you know, but I was tired of that, and the moment I met Nick I was looking for other things, and all those things I found them in him. So that’s when I felt like wow, he’s not only boyfriend material, but he’s like - he could be my husband.
PETER OVERTON: Well, you’re not a standard issue fellow, are you?
NICK: No, not exactly. We actually have gotten a lot of interesting reactions from just people while we were dating and holding hands, and walking side by side. Some even, people come up and cry.
PETER OVERTON: Can I just ask how you hold hands?
NICK: Yeah, right here – this is – we’re holding hands right here, and she’d have her hand round me, or jump on the back of my wheelchair.
PETER OVERTON: But what sort of reactions did you get?
NICK: Well people would come up and cry, and say “now I believe in true love again”.
PETER OVERTON: When I first met Nick in 2008, he was very much a single man, with his signature generosity of spirit and good humour.
PETER OVERTON: No arms, no legs.
NICK: No worries mate!
PETER OVERTON: Then, two years ago, he and Kanae crossed paths, and it was, without a hint of exaggeration, love at first sight.
KANAE: The moment I saw him, when I saw his eyes and his smile, and just you know his - I thought to myself, oh my gosh, he’s so handsome. To me he’s definitely Prince Charming, you know. He might not be perfect in the exterior, but he’s a perfect match for me.
NICK: It was electric. I mean, when she stood by me it just felt right.
PETER OVERTON: Is it fair to say it is the world’s most unlikely love story?
KANAE: You could say that.
PETER OVERTON: What do you think, Nick?
NICK: There’s a lot of love stories out there, but it’s a special one - very special.
PETER OVERTON: The fact is, just about everything Nick does is special. From falling out of the sky, to learning how to surf, he refuses to let his rare condition, called “phocomelia,” confine him to a wheelchair. Nick has had to develop a sink-or-swim approach to life.
NICK: So when I breathe in - watch this - I’m not paddling. I go up and out. All by breath, right? And I just float.
PETER OVERTON: That is amazing! Just breathe -
NICK: Yeah, just by laughing, yeah. Look.
PETER OVERTON: Do the breathing again.
NICK: I’ll hold it - and then out.
PETER OVERTON: Fantastic.
KANAE: You’re amazing.
NICK: There you go. And because I don’t have arms and legs to supply oxygen to, I can actually hold my breath longer than the average - two minutes, 13 seconds.
PETER OVERTON: It’s easy to see why his positive outlook has won Nick a growing legion of admirers, enthralled by the story of a young boy from Melbourne who did all in his power to turn disadvantage into advantage. Today, he’s wheeling himself onto the hallowed ground at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.
PETER OVERTON: Nick, 40,000+ people - do you get stage fright?
NICK: No, not these days. Palms don’t get sweaty these days.
PETER OVERTON: Over 4.5 million have now heard his story -
NICK: It doesn’t mean I’m not going to cry, it doesn’t mean I’ll understand everything, but I know He’s with me.
PETER OVERTON: – a tale of faith, hope, and, now love.
KANAE: There’s always been a huge chemistry between the two of us, and sometimes at the beginning people would say hey, don’t kiss too much. It was shocking to me because it was something that I never felt before.
PETER OVERTON: Ever the romantic, Nick proposed on a yacht in Santa Barbara last year. One potential problem - how to put the ring on her finger. It was solved by Nick’s ingenuity - he used his mouth.
NICK: And I’m going “Baby, can I kiss your hand?” And I’m going mwah, mwah, mwah, but her left hand.
NICK: And I put the ring down her finger, all the way. And she’s like thinking I’m getting kinky or something. She’s like “What are you doing?”
KANAE: He’s biting my finger!
NICK: I’m biting her finger.
KANAE: I’m like, why’s he do - you know, why’s he biting my finger?
NICK: So I put it all the way down, and I pull back, and she sees there’s a ring on it. And she just -
KANAE: I was shocked.
NICK: Her face, her big eyes, tears immediately. And then I said “Baby, I love you, would you marry me and spend the rest of your life with me?” And she just cried.
PETER OVERTON: What about a physical relationship - was that difficult for you? Is it difficult for you?
NICK: You mean intimacy?
PETER OVERTON: Yeah.
NICK: No! We’re very affectionate people.
KANAE: You know, sometimes, I can’t hold his hand all the time, so then I hug him or, you know, so - but um - he’s got everything he needs, you know. I mean -
PETER OVERTON: Beautifully answered.
NICK: That’s perfect.
PETER OVERTON: They got married in February this year, then settled into their house, an hour north of Los Angeles, California. From here, Nick has his office where he writes his books and prepares motivational speeches. But as independent as Nick is, he still needs care -
NICK: These are my cooking glasses.
PETER OVERTON: - much of it provided by outside help, but a fair bit by Kanae, who at the age of 24 has now assumed the role of wife and carer.
NICK: It was a part of the deal. I mean, she saw how -
KANAE: Came with the package.
NICK: It came with the package. So she knew how I would function with caregivers, and we knew that would change somewhat, quite a lot, as to how much. But she was ready for the challenge, and I was amazed at her love, and yeah.
PETER OVERTON: If you ever have a cross word, then things might change. And then you’ve got to switch from wife to “hey, I need you to shave me,” or “I need you to feed me”. How does that work?
KANAE: Well, you know what, I don’t know, because we’ve only been married for maybe seven months, and we haven’t had an argument yet, so -
PETER OVERTON: I promise you, it will come.
KANAE: Yeah, it will come.
KANAE: It’s like we’re still in our honeymoon, you know? But honestly no, that hasn’t happened yet. So when it happens, I’ll let you know.
PETER OVERTON: You can have your dinner later. How’s that, alright?
PETER OVERTON: Jeez, how heavy are you?
PETER OVERTON: Four years ago, Nick was characteristically candid about his desire to find true love, and maybe become a parent.
NICK: I love you, Peter.
PETER OVERTON: Kids one day?
NICK: Absolutely. Yeah, medically I can have kids. Well, I’m not going to be pregnant. But I see kids definitely in my life, I can’t wait to be a father.
PETER OVERTON: Well, it was just the two of us on the beach that day, now, four years on, there’s a third. And, would you believe it, soon to be a fourth. Clearly you’re a happier man.
NICK: Very, very happy, and actually we’re sharing something else - a great joy that we’re very much looking forward to. We’re pregnant. We’re pregnant.
PETER OVERTON: Fantastic!
NICK: We’re pregnant, so -
PETER OVERTON: Beautiful news.
NICK: Our son Kiyoshi is on the way.
PETER OVERTON: Tell us about your little boy you’re having?
KANAE: Well, let me tell you, it was a big surprise for us. We always said “oh, you know, we’re going to wait two years before we have kids.” And you know, it happened. And this is our baby. Ah, he was 15 weeks, right?
NICK: Mm hmm.
KANAE: Now 17 weeks, but he was 15 weeks when we were there, and we could see everything, both of his hands, both of his feet, ah his brain.
PETER OVERTON: There’s his little hands. But was there a worry, or a concern from the doctors and a genuine concern from yourselves, that perhaps your little one could be born without limbs?
NICK: Well, medically speaking there’s an even smaller chance. The chance that happened, that this happened to me, it’ll be even smaller because it’s not genetic or anything like that. Did it cross our minds? Absolutely. Was I relieved when I saw the ten fingers and ten toes? Absolutely. It was just a joy, you know.
PETER OVERTON: If there is anyone in this world who deserves to find happiness its Nick Vujicic. He has overcome huge challenges in his life, and no doubt there are more to come. But for Nick and Kanae, life right now is pretty good. Four years ago we sat on this beach here in Malibu, and we talked about your dreams and hopes for the future. And it seems they’ve come true.
NICK: Here we are. It’s amazing. Why not, huh? Dreams do come true. And she’s the greatest dream that’s ever come true for me, yeah.