Jessica Casebolt visits Pendleton Senior Night on Monday - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Miss Kentucky talks heart health at Pendleton HS

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PENDLETON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -

Miss Kentucky visited the Tri-State on Monday to raise awareness about the number one killer disease in the country.

Jessica Casebolt took part in senior night activities at Pendleton High School, where one of the school's basketball players fights every day to keep his heart healthy.

Monday was Garrett Appleman's first time meeting Jessica Casebolt, but Miss Kentucky knew his story. Since her crowning last July, Jessica has become an advocate for healthy heart awareness.

"Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in this country, with over 80% of those deaths being preventable," said Casebolt.

The only positive news Garrett knows is that his heart condition isn't fatal.

"We're here really to encourage him and to teach others how they can take care of their heart," Casebolt explained.

He can warm up with his team mates, but once it's time for the game to start, Garrett must leave the court.

"Its hard but I know the bigger picture like, my life is more important than basketball, but it's hard to watch," said Appleman.

Garrett's mother says her son's first word was ball and has been playing basketball since he was 3-years-old. However, his health will no longer allow it. 

"My heart just starts racing. I get dizzy and light-headed," he explained. As a result, he's forced to watch from the sidelines.

On Monday, Miss Kentucky's message was for everyone to practice for a healthy heart.

"Little changes in their diet. Stop smoking, get your numbers, watch you cholesterol, watch your blood pressure. All this could seriously change your life, seriously save your life," she conveyed.

It's not known yet how serious Garrett's heart condition is. His mother tells FOX19 they are still waiting for some test results to find out.

As for Garrett Appleman, he plans to continue his education at the University of Kentucky and some day get back in the game.

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