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Just when you think life is tough, you find inspirations like 16-year-old Donavia Walker. The Winterhaven, Florida-native was born without arms and has today become an accomplished Junior Reserve Officer cadet. She is a squad commander of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC).
Donavia Walker was born with a rare condition called Bilateral Amelia. It is a condition that caused her to not develop her upper limbs in the womb. In spite of this, she can practically do anything she wants. She has learned to use her feet for everything including eating, driving and texting.
She told Barcroft Media, “People would put me down because they didn’t think I could do as much as I can. 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.’”
“I was like, ‘I can get it with my feet. I will find a way,” Donavia said.
According to her mother, Tisa Jones, Donavia’s condition was very scary at first and left her feeling extremely shocked.
“It was kind of scary. When Donavia was born I saw these different nurses and doctors just run in the room,” Tisa said. “I took a glance over and I saw one of her arms was missing. I’m like: ‘She is missing an arm,’ and that’s when [the doctor] tells me she is missing both of them.
The cause of this rare condition is unknown. Still, the limb formation process is usually prevented or interrupted very early, between 24 and 36 days after fertilisation.
Donavia also learned to use her feet to play football at her school for three years. Then she even joined the cheerleading squad.
Now, the high school student is a squad commander on the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Her major goal now is to inspire others with disabilities by showing them they can accomplish anything as well.
Meanwhile, Donavia is focused on graduating from high school and passing her driving test.
She says: “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 said.