Donavia Walker of Winter Haven, Florida, doesn’t have arms, but she’s spent her entire life proving she doesn’t need them!
The 18-year-old was born with bilateral amelia, a rare birth defect characterized by the underdevelopment or lack of one or more limbs. People assumed the condition would hold her back, but it hasn’t one bit!
Growing up, Donavia heard the words “you can’t” many times, but she didn’t listen. She knew she could do whatever she wanted, just in a different way. So she learned how to do everything with her feet, from getting dressed to brushing her teeth and even driving later on!
“I was like, ‘I can get it with my feet. I will find a way,'” she told Barcroft TV.
While her mom, Tisa Jones, said she was scared when she first saw Donavia as a newborn, she couldn’t be prouder of all her daughter’s accomplishments.
In school, Donavia played soccer, joined the cheerleading squad, and became a role model to her peers.
At 16, she stepped into a leadership role as the squad commander of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps — one of her proudest achievements.
Her Army instructor, Sgt. Major Rudy Carter, has been constantly amazed by her resilience and determination. In fact, he said she inspired him to stay positive after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“It’s people like [Donavia] that make my job worth getting up in the morning,” Carter said. “Can’t feel sorry for yourself when you have a student who doesn’t find any reason to give up.”
This year, Donavia reached another milestone when she graduated from high school! As for the future, the sky’s the limit as far as she’s concerned. As long as she believes in herself, she knows she’ll succeed.
“I would say to anyone with a physical condition that you should love yourself and find people who make you feel comfortable with yourself,” she added.
What a wonderful role model! This amazing young woman is living proof that physical differences don’t equal limitations!
Learn more about her incredible journey in the video below, and share this story to cheer her on.
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