Positively Upstate: 8 Year Old Teaches Classmates about Living With Cystic Fibrosis


ALBANY (WRGB) – May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. Friday, the Delaware Community School in Albany taught their students about the disease. They have a classmate who lives with CF.

Eight year old CJ Motta was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at two weeks old.

“My son is a typical 8 year old little boy, you would never know what he's going through inside.” CJ’s mom Tracy Van Hattum said. “Even though he looks fine on the outside, his body's working 10x harder on the inside.”

Tracy says CJ loves to run, play, and be silly, but he does daily CF treatments that aren’t always fun.

“He gets up bright and early in the morning, he likes to play his ipad while he does his morning vest, he does his nebulizer, he does his inhaler, his vitamins, he does his sinus medications.” She said.

She said it’s important to teach the classmates so they understand what he’s going through. Sometimes he misses school, can’t go to certain events, or runs out of breath easily. “It's hard to keep up with the other kids some days, other days he's right on top of it and going faster than the rest of them.” Tracy said.

Students learned what Cystic Fibrosis does to the body, what types of treatments patients go through, and how they can help keep patients healthy – like washing their hands frequently!

Tracy said it’s also important to raise awareness because they’re fighting to find a cure, so CJ and other Cystic Fibrosis patients can live a long healthy life.

“When he {CJ} was born, life expectancy was only in the late 30s, now it's in the early 40s. We're getting there, we just need the donations to make it. We need the funding, to find the research, to find the cure!” Tracy said.

CJ and “Team CJ” have been raising money for a cure since he was born. In the last three months, Team CJ has raised about $4,000.

On May 19th, Team CJ will participate in the Great Strides walk. It’s at the Crossings in Colonie at 9:00 AM.

If you would like to learn more, join Team CJ, or make a donation visit:

You can also visit Team CJ’s Facebook page at:

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