August Sister Spotlight: Donna Leal
One of our 2019 #Upgrades for our Every Heart Sister Membership is our new Sister Spotlight! Every single month we will feature one of our valued members and share some of what makes their HEART shine
Our August Sister Spotlight is Donna Leal.
She is originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and was married in 1976 to her husband, John.
They have two grown children and one adorable granddaughter, whom Donna describes as a true joy in their lives.
She has always been very active and was in gymnastics and cheerleading, as well as loved to sing and dance or spend hours outdoor just having fun. Anything with motion was definitely a favorite activity for her, she admits. She was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom while raising her children, and then later returned to college to help her family more financially. She began with English 101, which led to her being 'hooked on learning!' Finally, ten years later she graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She giggles and says, "It was my 10-year plan."
For the past 21 years, she has been a full-time Clinical Physical Therapist at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. She proudly serves all types of patients including burn patients, breast cancer, orthopedic, strokes, lymphedema and wounds. She admits her career is challenging, but has truly taught her the skills of teaching, coaching, patience and perseverance. "Being a physical therapist literally changed my life," she says. "Rehabilitation changes everyone, including the therapist. Still curious, I am always open to doing something more."
Almost six years ago, Donna decided to step outside of her comfort zone to try something new. She became a skincare specialist and consultant to help people solve skincare issues, as well as change their financial position by building their own business. She admits she was not really looking for another business opportunity but was introduced to Rodan + Fields by a fellow coworker, and it was the timing that made her decision to begin this journey in building her business. Remember that active, outdoor-minded girl she described herself as earlier? All of her time out in the sun, swimming, biking and hanging out at the lake resulted in that dreaded diagnosis: SKIN CANCER. In fact, it didn't just happen to her once, but six times in her adult life. Each time she was caught off guard and her world turned upside down. She now proudly says she is older and wiser, but ultimately she is making better choices when caring for her own skin and others. So this is her newest passion; she helps people protect their skin and find solutions for skin issues. She knew that after her own experiences, we are all certainly worth it.
"Joining The Every Heart Project has added so much to my life. I went to my first event and was instantly amazed that a room full of women could share and accept me just like a sister. Every event offered something different: the sharing of ideas, acceptance, teaching, more learning, a little cry here and there and lot of laughing! I loved my first retreat, from the teachings to the heartfelt stories and late night singing, the food, as well as rest a relaxation with time to reflect on life and its importance. A weekend well spent with my new sisters. I definitely look forward to getting to know all of my Heart Sisters, as I know we are placed together for a reason."
Looking forward, Donna says there is so much good she'd like to participate in by using her gifts and talents. She has as strong desire to help those with learning differences and hopes to continue to make a difference in their lives. Having worked directly with dyslexia and ADHD, she knows the education for the learning different child are high, but the cost of low confidence and exclusion is far greater. Her goal is to truly help these people who need it and create a ripple effect.
Thank you Donna for being an awesome Heart Sister!!
If you are not a member of The Every Heart Project, we would love to welcome you into our tribe! It's a Sisterhood like no other, and we have saved a spot just for YOU!