PEORIA, Ill. -- A local physical education teacher says she has learned an important lesson about healthy living.
Kara Smith is a PE teacher from Pleasant Valley School, who lost more than 100 pounds.
However, her story is about more than just dynamic weight loss.
Smith went in to her doctor complaining about knee trouble and was eventually diagnosed with having a genetic heart defect.
She underwent open heart surgery and has been actively participating in cardiac rehab at UnityPoint Health Methodist.
"Being a PE Health teacher, you know I want to promote a good positive message to my students. So I've lived it now, so my message is going to be louder and my message is going to be stronger to those kids on the importance of an active lifestyle and healthy lifestyle," Smith said.
Kara Smith will participate in the Tri County Heart Walk along the Peoria Riverfront on Saturday, alongside her support team; her family and friends and the medical team that helped her get better.