Boyle Co. High School football team raising money for epilepsy in honor of teammate

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 4:16 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Boyle County High School senior Jacob Heist always dreamed of playing football. But in sixth grade, that dream was almost stolen from him.

It started when Jacob had a seizure.

“I had to clear his airway, he bit down on my fingers and I didn’t care if I lost my fingers at that time, I wasn’t going to let him die from that.” said Jacob’s mother Jennifer Heist.

Jennifer remembers thinking her son was going to die. But, Jacob pulled through.

“It was the greatest thing ever because I knew he was going to be okay, so we battled it for so long and he is lucky,” Jennifer said.

Jacob was diagnosed with epilepsy. But that was just the start of the battle.

“Every person I went to said I would never play football again and I really was not taking that,” Jacob said.

Jacob spent a year on the bench, but he continued to go to games to cheer on his Boyle County High School Rebels.

“He was there always supporting us, now we can support him,” his teammates said.

Every year the “Rebels for a Cause” raise money for an organization. This year, the cause is epilepsy in honor of Jacob.

The team is selling t-shirts, and have even caught the eye of ESPN’s Dick Vitale, who personally donated.

For Jennifer, it’s not all about the money raised or t-shirts sold.

“They all band together, so when we call them a band of brothers, that’s exactly what they are, and from a mother’s standpoint to know your child has that, it’s unbelievable,” Jennifer said.

Devastation that led to perseverance, and teammates that became family.

After high school Jacob wants to go into neuroscience and advocate for those with epilepsy.

To donate, you can contact 606-899-7736 or

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