Fujita drew strength for mom

By Matt Florjancic, ClevelandBrowns.com Staff Writer

Posted Sep 29, 2010

As a high school student, Scott Fujita watched his mother survive two bouts with breast cancer.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Scott Fujita is a physically imposing linebacker, but all the size and speed he has used to become a Super Bowl champion does not compare to the strength he gained through an experience during his high school days.

Fujita’s adopted mother, Helen, was twice diagnosed with breast cancer when he and his older brother, Jason were growing up. At that early age, Fujita learned a lesson in what it means to be strong.

“To watch her battle through that and see the things she went through, that raised my level of awareness to what so many other women in this country go through,” he said. “I made that an issue of mine, to raise awareness for everybody else.

“Seeing the things she went through, chemotherapy’s tough,” Fujita added. “You always hear about it, but until you see it first hand and you hear your mother throwing up in the bathroom next to you, that’s a really tough thing to go through. The way she came through it, came through it with flying colors, I’m so proud of the way she handled it. It was a great example for me and my brother.”

Through sheer will and determination, Fujita’s mother overcame her battles with breast cancer.

“It’s been probably 13, 14 years now, so it’s a huge accomplishment,” he said.

Watching what his mother went through as a teenager made an impact on Fujita. Having twin daughters, Isabell and Delilah, with his wife, Jaclyn, also had an impact him.

“I think it helps and my wife has gotten involved too since our girls have been born,” he said. “She takes part in the Komen Race every year. We’re usually playing on the day of the Komen Race, so my wife takes our daughters out because she wants them to know not only what their grandma went through, but how important it is to raise that awareness.”

Being active in the community and raising awareness is not something new to Fujita.

Prior to leaving the New Orleans Saints to join the Browns, Fujita donated half of his Super Bowl game check to charity with the money going to Haiti relief efforts and a redevelopment of The Wetlands in the Gulf Region. For his community activism, Fujita was honored as the Saints’ 2009 Man of the Year.

Helping others, especially when it comes to raising awareness, is one of Fujita’s most important roles as an athlete.

“From my time in the league, I think there’s a unique platform here to do some good things and raise awareness for any issue that’s important to you,” he said. “With breast cancer especially, it’s just getting the word out. For me, it’s about encouraging women to get screened regularly, get routine mammograms because that’s the best way to beat cancer, early detection.”

Filed in: Press Room • Friday, October 1st, 2010

Comments

By Mike Grabowski on October 3rd, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Thanks for such inspiring words about such an amazing woman in your mom Scott. My girls grandmother lost her battle with lung cancer last March which was tough. So glad the NFL makes great strides to contribute to breast cancer as well as all cancer research. You are defiently a class act Scott. Please keep up the good work in all you do.

Scott, What a touching and important story. Thanks for shedding light on this issue. We fans miss you in New Orleans and can’t wait to see you this Sunday.

By Ellen Lucido on October 18th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Scott, you are truly one of a kind to give so much of yourself to the communities you come in contact with. New Orleans loves you and I, personally, wish you were a Saint again. I wish you success wherever you are and will be watching you this Sunday. Please don’t sack Drew!

 

Leave a Comment


About

Scott Fujita

Scott Fujita was born in Ventura, California on April 28, 1979. He was a three-sport standout at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, CA before heading to the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with Honors in Political Science and earned a Masters degree in Education.

Fujita has played in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. Read more