Miss Utah USA Kendyl Bell surrounded herself with dozens of blue balloons Tuesday as part of a campaign she created to encourage a cleaner environment.
The display took place at Scera Park Elementary School in Orem, where Bell joined representatives from the Utah County Health Department and the American Lung Association for a program during which students were asked to pledge to promote good air quality and avoid tobacco use, a news release said.
Bell actively participated in drill and dance as a teenager and wondered why she found the activities so physically challenging, according to the release.
After collapsing at a practice, she learned she had asthma.
“This was a very scary wake up call,” Bell said in the release. “But it was also a relief for me and my family to finally have an explanation for the breathing struggles I had experienced my whole life.”
She spoke to students Tuesday about how she has managed to remain active despite her asthma.
“The kids are always so much fun,” she said in the release. “Together we really can make a difference, and I love seeing their enthusiasm.”