Donavia Walker’s life is a testament to the statement that, where there is a will, there is a way.
Born with a rare condition called Bilateral Amelia, which means to be without arms, Donavia has learned to use her feet to do everything from driving to using her phone.
In fact, she has become an accomplished Junior Reserve Officer cadet in the US. She is a squad commander and a part of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC).
When Donavia’s mother was pregnant, medical staff did not inform her that her daughter had not developed arms in the womb. Although, she felt betrayed, she loved her daughter regardless.
At a young age, Donavia quickly started using her feet to perform everyday.
“It really didn’t affect her life because the way she does stuff, everything comes to her naturally. She taught herself to draw, she actually can tie other people’s shoes, she feeds herself, she takes herself to the bathroom. I’m still trying to figure out how, but she does it”, her mother said.
Donavia even taught herself how to drive with her feet. She uses her right foot for the steering wheel and her left foot for the accelerator and brake pedals.
“People would put me down because they didn’t think I could do as much as I can”, Donavia said. “They would tell me, ‘You can’t hold it, you have to use your hands to hold it” or “You can’t get that, you gotta use your hands to get it”.
And I was like, “I can get it with my feet. I will find a way”.
When she was younger, she played football at her school for three years and even became part of the cheerleading squad. However, leading her platoon in drill competitions and taking part in activities such as archery and rock climbing in the JROTC program, made her shine more.
Watch her tell her story here
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