In 1976, Donna R. Walton's life was transformed when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of bone cancer called osteogenic sarcoma. At the age of 18, the young college student - an aspiring performer - received the crushing news that she had to sacrifice her left leg above the knee to prevent the cancer from spreading. She feared her fate was sealed. But since losing her leg over 40 years ago, Dr. Walton has attained personal and professional success - having triumphed over her fears of deficiency to discover her assets within and her power to thrive.
A certified cognitive behavioral therapist, Dr. Walton conceived LEGGTalk, Inc.™ (formerly Dream Reach Win, Inc., established in 1996), to motivate and empower individuals to conquer their personal limitations (real and perceived) and achieve their vision of success. Through LEGGTalk, Inc., ™ Dr. Walton uses personal testimony and her professional training to offer Lessons of Empowerment for Achieving Goals and Greatness. The company's services include Motivational Speaking, Life Coaching/Counseling, Empowerment Workshops, and Diversity Training.
"After losing my leg, I had to break down all the meaning my life had for me as a two-legged person and reconstruct a life as an amputee - to become a person empowered with passion and a positive outlook on life," Dr. Walton recalls.
"I'm committed to helping people overcome all types of hurdles in their lives. If you can't live your dreams because of some internal barrier, essentially, you're struggling with an invisible disability," she says.
Her passion is to help others deconstruct and reconstruct their lives to find purpose and fulfillment. This includes amputees as well as persons without physical disabilities.
A dynamic award-winning speaker, Dr. Walton has made motivational presentations to institutions such as The National Council of Negro Women, The United States Army, Equal Opportunity Employment Office, Washington Hospital Center, and the Annual Conference on Disabilities, as well as at schools and universities, including The Frost School, Ball State University and Spelman College.
In 2000, while Director of Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., Dr. Walton started a program called "GO Now," a vocational rehabilitation service that helped persons disabled by HIV/AIDS acquire skills and the confidence to seek and gain employment. Today, she uses her empowerment model — The Empowerment Salon™ — to help women live the lives they desire.
Articles by or about Dr. Walton have been published in a number of publications, including HealthQuest, inMotion and Disability Quarterly. She is currently writing a book about her life and the lessons she has learned as a cancer survivor and amputee. The book's title is "Shattered Dreams, Broken Pieces".
Dr. Walton earned her bachelors degree in 1979 from American University; a master's degree in 1985 in Adult Education from Syracuse University; and, in 2005, a doctoral degree in Counseling from The George Washington University. Dr. Walton is a former faculty member at The George Washington University, where she taught graduate-level rehabilitation counseling courses using a distance education format.