The Cost of the Game, Pt. 1

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Kevin Turner faces a huge battle ahead with ALS, A cruel effect of the disease is losing the ability to speak. When Mark spoke with his lifelong friend who shared with him a wish.

In a small mill town in Autauga County, many young men have strapped on the cardinal helmets of the Prattville High School Lions. But only a select few made it to the NFL. Kevin turner #14, also known as KT, is one of Prattville’s incredible stories of hope, determination and success.

A star high school running back, University of Alabama great and NFL full back for 8 years, Turner’s success has cost him.

“They couldn’t pay me enough to do the last two years again.”–Kevin Turner

As a result of repeated concussions and brain trauma from the game’s physical abuse, his health has begun to fail him. Kevin turner has a form of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a cruel disease that leaves the mind untouched while robbing a person of muscular abilities and function.

An independent minded man, Turner now depends on his family and friends. KT struggles more each day. “In my head, I still try to do things with my hands. You know just look at them, like trying to move my fingers certain ways, things like that. The biggest decline was definitely this year when I had problems holding my head up.” Kevin told Mark.

Often optimistic and always positive for those around him, Turner understands what the disease holds in store for him. The father of 3 children, he stays very active in his son’s and daughter’s lives. His passion as an advocate for ALS also keeps him on the move.
When asked what he wants his legacy to be, Turner said he wants to be known as someone who helped bring awareness as well as a cure to ALS. But more than anything, he wants to be a good dad and a God fearing man.

He started the Kevin Turner Foundation to raise awareness about ALS. Still a fan of the game, Turner realizes the importance of becoming aware of concussions long before they do damage.

“If you get a concussion, you have to rest it just like you do any other injury. That’s where I know I didn’t do as well as many others.” –Kevin Turner

To many of those who grew up around him, he was simply superman.

In 2012, when CBS42 first sat down with Turner, those signs are markedly worse today. Turner uses video to judge his changes and decline. His biggest fear, losing his ability to communicate, losing his voice.

“It might be a computer talking for me, but by that time I’ll get one with a nicer voice than Steven Hawking. I couldn’t listen to myself like that. There’s got to be a better way. I need one with a little Southern twang.” -Kevin Turner

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS42

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