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Doctor turns personal illness into a public teaching tool

Date Posted: 2009-12-29

Teruaki Fujii is a very special individual, one not afraid to confront his own handicaps while demonstrating to the community that it’s all right to be different.

The doctor of medicine and philosophy is a very popular man, with his lectures always filling the room with not only everyday students, but with intellectuals, too. Doctor Fujii suffers from his own serious sickness, Hemangioma, an ailment that has transformed the right side of his face into a swollen red mass like a tumor. He says the Hemangioma began when he was a child, and everybody turned to him and declared “Wow, what an ugly face you have.”

He didn’t let the Hemangioma drag him down, instead motivating him to study medicine. “You have to find out your own differences from other people,” he tells every child and adult who’ll listen. He recounts how he was so different he wasn’t even able to get a job, and recounts how his parents were supportive and telling him “remember, we are very proud of you. We know you are a very special one, and you have talents nobody can do but you.” Doctor Fujii says he was always told “You can work with people who have the same sickness as you, and give them confidence.”

He jokingly tells kids “You know…I am idolized like a teenage entertainer, because you see I can be on television and in newspapers and can even publish my own books.” Encouraging the children with admonitions of “Don’t be shy, each person has a different face and each face has a charm point. You each have the confidence to be proud of yourselves.”

Doctor Fujii tells everyone “Even if somebody says ‘you have an ugly face’, don’t be sad. That means you are different from anyone else, and that’s a great thing because it transforms a problem into a plus, and makes your dreams come true. The doctor always closes his lectures by letting the children touch his deformed face, which looks like a raw piece of meat. “Wow, it is very warm” some children say, while others describe his face as “soft as normal facial skin.” He says he’s pleased children have drawn power from him, and stirred them to having positive dreams.

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