Anthony “AJ” Silvestri was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at only 10 days old. Because of the complications from his disease, he endures seemingly insurmountable obstacles with the spirit of a true champion. Since his birth, he has had countless procedures, surgeries, and hospitalizations because of complications from CF.
To delay the progression of his disease, AJ takes 21 medications per day, including tube feedings and chest physiotherapy, as well as up to 40 pills per day. Despite receiving frequent cycles of IV medication through his port, AJ is completely committed to his schoolwork, his service to his church, and his other activities, including Student Council and acting. When he was in first grade, he created and coordinated a Cystic Fibrosis Food Drive at his school and collected 12 cases of food to help other people affected by this insidious disease.
With the love and support of his school, AJ has coordinated many efforts to help the CF community. This year, as a Fourth Grade member of the Student Council, AJ helped coordinate a collection of coloring books, puzzles, crayons and books to be provided to other children with CF during their visits to the Monmouth Medical Center Cystic Fibrosis Program. This winter, the school will be collecting new pajamas for children with CF to have during their hospital stays. He has taken his own experiences with CF to truly enrich the lives of others who fight the same battle every day.
He recently hosted the first fundraiser to support BREATHE- The Morgan Lucas Shuldt Foundation to help others with CF. With the love of his family, friends, and classmates, AJ was able to raise almost $1,000 to help others like him. He truly exemplifies exceptional character at every opportunity and epitomizes selflessness in his daily life. AJ attends Leroy Gordon Cooper Elementary School and lives in Cliffwood Beach with his parents, Ken and Kerryann.