ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When Justin Lucero steps on the football field, he inspires more than just his teammates. The Valley High School senior has battled cystic fibrosis from a young age, and he credits football, as one of his biggest motivators to keep going.

“When I was born, the chances of me living to this age weren’t that high. So, it’s a very special moment for me, and like just everything I do, my family, my doctors, everybody, just a great experience, and I am happy to be alive,” he said.

Over the years, a Facebook group called Justin’s A-Team has helped raised money and awareness for cystic fibrosis through flag football. That group, along with Prime Time Athletics has meant a lot to Lucero. In 2019, he was able to begin taking a life-changing drug.

“With the new treatment, it like really changed everything because, for me, I just have to do my treatments, but I feel great with it, and it’s just amazing how far the research has come,” he said.

Now Lucero is enjoying his senior year with the Vikings and is one of the leaders on the team. Most of his teammates, however, don’t even know about his medical condition.

“He tries to be as normal as possible, and he is a great kid, and he doesn’t let whatever he has get him down,” Coach Billy Cobos said, “Justin is one of the greatest kids we have on the team, and I think when the kids see this story they are going to be like ‘okay, okay, I see why he is like he is.'”

Football and sports will always remain an important aspect of Lucero’s life. He hopes to study sports medicine in college and continue to give back to the community that has supported him throughout his life.

“Got to give all my glory to god, because he has blessed me to be alive till now and has just let me experience life to this age and I want to become successful so I can make sure that I can bring more awareness to cystic fibrosis since I am living with it.”