Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.
Listen to Steven Fujita's interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's vampire novel, Dracula. http://www.internetradiopros.com/bookclub/?p=episode&name=2010-11-01_zbookcub_for_110210_1st_segment_steven_fujita.mp3
His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth. His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012. Visit his website at: www.stevenfujitaauthor.com
Be the Hero You Are
Many times, people who have recovered from or have adapted to disabilities are referred to as heroic, or inspirational. Some disabled people mind this perception. Personally, I don’t. If the price of being an inspiration to others is being praise, then I don’t mind.
However, I am not being inspirational on purpose and I do think the praise is misplaced. I nearly died, I could have suffered major brain damage. I did neither, and I didn’t proactively do anything to prevent either. It was probably a combination of the nature of the disease/injury, my body’s health when I was afflicted, and the actions of the hospital staff: doctors, nurses, technicians, etc. It might be an inspiring story, but I did nothing inspirational.
But once I survived, I had to deal with the consequences of spinal cord injury. I couldn’t breathe on my own; I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own; I couldn’t swallow properly; I couldn’t walk. If I couldn’t recover from these, I’d have to adapt.
For the most part, I did recover. Whatever adaptations I currently use, is minimal to what could have been. Again, some of this is just the body recovering on its own, regardless of anything proactive I’ve done. However, I believe a lot of the recovery I had was due to the effort I put into recovering. Some people might say it was a heroic effort.
But here’s the thing. I didn’t recover for the sake of others. I recovered for myself. With all the support I received from family friends, co-workers, and hospital staff, I didn’t want to let them down, but ultimately, I wanted to recover for myself.
I wouldn’t want to go through what I’ve been through the last two years. But, if I can inspire one person who gets diagnosed with spinal cord injury, and help him/her recover or adapt by sharing my experience, then my injury has not been in vain.
When you overcome an obstacle whatever it is, others may label you a hero. That’s okay. Just be the hero you are, not the one people want you to be.
Title: Toe Up to 10K
Author: Steven Fujita
In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs. “Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.