All-Time Great Athlete Talks To Children About Asthma

CLEVELAND – Six-time Olympic medallist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is known for taking control of the sport of track and field, but on Thursday, she was in Cleveland talking about taking control of asthma, 19/43 News reported.

Joyner-Kersee (pictured, right) has been one of the world's greatest athletes for the past 20 years despite battling asthma for more than 15 years.

Thursday morning, she paid a visit to Case Elementary School to encourage children that they can take control of their disease.

Joyner-Kersee was at the school as part of the Community Asthma Outreach Project, which focuses on neighborhoods with a high number of asthma cases.

Before going to the school, she stopped by the 19/43 News studios to talk about the secret to her success.

"It can be controlled," Joyner-Kersee said. "You have to take your medication on a regular basis, be able to listen to your doctor, your parents got to be involved and that (the children) have to understand that having asthma does not mean you're a failure in life."

Along with getting to listen to Joyner-Kersee, the students at Case received free asthma screenings.

A 1998 survey in the Cleveland area found that 26 percent of children with asthma went to the emergency room for asthma attacks.