The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 26, 2014

Spirit Night Thursday in honor of Kierstynn Turner

By Lora Scripps

— Kierstynn Turner, 4, is an advocate.

The future kindergartner, who has spina bifida, raises money for the Spina Bifida Association and will be honored from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Chick-fil-a in Athens for Spirit Night.

Kierstynn, the daughter of Kyle and Cassie Turner, is currently raising money for the annual SBA-sponsored Bowl-a-Thon, which will be held April 26 at the Madison Bowling Center. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the Bowl-a-Thon begins at 2 p.m. A percentage of sales during Spirit Night Thursday will be donated to SBA. Supporters should mention they are at Chick-fil-a for Spirit Night.

Kierstynn’s story

Kierstynn’s parents learned she had spina bifida when an ultrasound was performed to identify her gender.  At birth, she was diagnosed with myelomenigocele, meaning her backbone and spinal cord didn’t close as she was developing.  She has undergone a number of surgeries and she goes to therapy once a month.

Although Kierstynn has a wheelchair, she walks, which is quite a feat considering her parents were told there was an 80 percent chance she would never walk.

Today, Kierstynn and her parents continue their push to increase awareness of spina bifida. They are members of the Huntsville chapter of SBA of Alabama, whose mission is to promote the prevention of spina bifida and to enhance the lives of all affected.

The CDC estimates there are 166,000 people in the United States living with spina bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect.

To find out more about the SBA of Alabama, visit