Kayla Beard lived to be a light to others and to give back to her community. On Friday, May 24, 2019, she passed away. But her impact within her community continues.
Beard was born with Spina Bifida, but she didn’t let that stop her from being an active member of her community and advocate for others living with Spina Bifida. She was most active with the Spina Bifida Association of Alabama, notably serving on the organization’s annual Bowl-a-thon here in Huntsville for 12 years.
Back in 2015, WZDX shared part of her story when she was in need for a new wheelchair accessible van.
Woman with Spina Bifida raising money for new wheelchair accessible van
Since her passing, several people have reached out to WZDX to express their love for Kayla and how much her presence and work meant to the local community.
Kayla has been a part of our Huntsville event since the beginning. She didn’t leave the area much, but she was at every Huntsville event we hosted. She helped support our families through fundraising. She hosted a Poker Run several times for us. She was always willing to put in calls to help us get donations. And she was always ready to get behind a cause and support others. At the time of her death, she had began working to help her sister raise college tuition. She always had a project going and it was always to help others.”
– Jennifer Gray, Field Service Coordinator with the Spina Bifida Association of Alabama.
Angie Pate, Executive Director for the Spina Bifida Association of Alabama, said:
I had the joy of knowing Kayla Beard for more than 12 years. Kayla was an amazing volunteer and advocate in the Spina Bifida community. We loved her dearly, and she will truly be missed. She worked on our Huntsville Bowl-a-thon committee for 12 years. She loved to help others in any way she could. My heart is broken for her family, and I can’t imagine next year’s event without her there. The event and our community will never be the same.”
As a Mom of a child with Spina Bifida, Kayla was my fellow volunteer and friend. She taught me so much about life with Spina Bifida and what to expect as my daughter was growing up. I’ve known Kayla since my Sophie was little, around 10 years. Sophie is now 17 and is going to miss Kayla greatly…Kayla loves our Spina Bifida Bowlathon each year and was an awesome volunteer. She would call and call and call. Whether it be for silent auction items, team and sponsor recruitment, or getting us a spot on the news to publicize the event. She was a little dynamo. You couldn’t be around her without smiling…I know that little sweet angel is up in heaven, running, jumping, and rejoicing. Two of those she never had the ability to do here on earth. But that last one, well, Kayla was that person that always found something to rejoice about.”
– Stacey Courson, a nurse case manager and fellow volunteer
“I have known Kayla about 6 years. We met through the Spina Bifida Association. I have a son, Brodie, who also has Spina Bifida. Kayla was always there for me when I had a hard day and needed someone that understood what Brodie and I were going through. She was the kindest and most giving person I have ever known. If she knew someone needed help, she would find a way to help. Always smiling and positive. She loved the Lord, her family and her friends with all her heart. She was like a sister to me and I will miss her greatly.”
– Stephanie Brazier.
Visitation for Kayla Beard will be on Tuesday, May 28 at Berryhill Funeral Home from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A service will be held at 12:00 p.m. following the visitation.