16-year-old Donavia Walker is a true inspiration. She may have been born with no arms because of a rare condition. As a result, many folks didn’t expect much from Donavia. But this armless girl isn’t letting that, or anything else, stand in her way!
Nicknamed Angel by her grandmother, Donavia can do just about anything the average teenager can do. She just does it all without arms. And this inspiring young lady has even become an outstanding army cadet in the JROTC. Check out her real-life overcomer story below!
A rare disorder affecting limbs called Bilateral Amelia caused Donavia to be born without arms. And it came as quite a shock to her mother, Tisa Jones.
"It was kind of scary," Tisa recalled. "When Donavia was born I saw these different nurses and doctors, they just ran in the room.”
Tisa had no idea what was going on.
"I'm asking my mom and my aunt, ‘What's wrong with her?' and then I looked over at them and they are crying,” Tisa said.
Doctors told the frightened mother to relax. But naturally, she couldn’t without knowing her baby girl was okay.
"I took a glance over and I saw one of her arms were missing,” Tisa said.
But it wasn’t just one arm. Doctors revealed that she’d given birth to an armless girl.
Her daughter’s condition came as a shock to Tisa. At no point during the pregnancy had anyone alerted her that her baby wasn’t forming arms.
"I felt betrayed like nobody told me nothing," she explained. "I'm feeling like the person who did the ultrasound should have known."
But of course, arms or no arms, Tisa loved her baby girl like crazy!
“At that point, I didn't care. I just wanted my baby so I could go home,” she said.
Armless Girl Overcomes All Odds
It didn’t take long for Tisa Jones to realize her daughter was different. Not because she didn’t have arms. It was Donavia’s drive that truly set her apart from your typical baby.
Donavia began developing her own techniques for navigating this world almost right away. Instead of crawling, she scooted around on her bottom. And as she continued to grow, Donavia kept figuring out how to use her feet to do everything people with hands do.
"I noticed she would grab stuff with her foot so I'm like, I'm just gonna let her do it her way,” Tisa said. "She taught herself to draw, she actually can tie other people’s shoes, she feeds herself, she takes herself to the bathroom, she does everything in the bathroom herself, I'm still trying to figure out how but she does it."
WATCH: Armless Girl Won’t Let Anything Hold Her Back
Donavia’s family knows she can do anything she puts her mind to. But all too often, the world underestimates this armless girl.
"People would put me down because they didn’t think I could do as much as I can,” Donavia says.
But every time Donavia hears the words “you can’t,” she finds a way to prove them wrong!
“I was like, ‘I can get it with my feet. I will find a way,'" she says.
Girl With No Arms Becomes U.S. Army Junior ROTC Cadet
Now at 16, Donavia Walker continues to amaze and inspire all she meets. She’s found ways to do everything the average teenager does, from driving to texting (never at the same time, of course)!
Donavia played football at school for three years and even joined the cheerleading squad. But with her incredible drive, one of her greatest accomplishments has been becoming a squad commander in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC).
“I remember the first day she walked through the door,” Donavia’s instructor, Sergeant Major Rudy Carter, US Army retired, said. “I had high hopes for her and she hasn't disappointed.”
You can’t help but feel inspired watching this armless girl excel at anything and everything.
"Every day that I see her walk through my classroom is a day that I realize that when I get up in the morning there is nothing that should limit me or nothing should hold me back,” Sergeant Major Rudy Carter explains. "It's people like Angel that make my job worth getting up for in the morning, make me want to get up and do the best that I can."
Donavia’s fellow JROTC cadets feel the same way.
As for Donavia, while she’s glad to inspire others, she’s just being herself.
"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. "There's no reason you shouldn’t love yourself."
What a blessing and inspiration Donavia is to this world!
h/t: Barcroft TV