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With college nearly complete, Devon Walker looks to life’s next chapter

September 26, 2016 12:00 PM
        

 

Roger Dunaway
roger@tulane.edu
504-862-8240

Devon Walker has overcome a cervical spine injury to earn his bachelor's degree in cell & molecular biology and is now looking to complete his master’s degree in neuroscience. (photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

 

Tulane University’s Devon Walker will always be a name synonymous with one of the greatest individual examples of overcoming adversity and succeeding in life.

Walker, who hails from nearby Destrehan, is looking to complete his master’s degree in neuroscience.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology in 2014.  But that’s only part of his atypical path through college.

A former Tulane football walk-on, Walker eventually earned a scholarship, became a starting safety and team captain by his senior campaign of 2012.  However, Walker suffered a cervical spine injury in the second game of the year that left him paralyzed from the neck down. 

“I hope to bring global awareness towards spinal cord injuries as well as the need for improvements in medical treatments and research to help cure the condition.”

- Devon Walker

Following his injury, Walker set his sights on finishing his degree.  He returned to Tulane with a weekly schedule consisting of classes and physical rehabilitation. Walker spent his last two summers participating in “Project Walk,” a rehabilitation program that provides an improved quality of life to people with spinal cord injuries.

This past summer, Walker achieved a goal he had envisioned since his injury with the creation of the Devon Walker Foundation, which he plans to turn into his full-time job post-graduation.

“I hope to bring global awareness towards spinal cord injuries as well as the need for improvements in medical treatments and research to help cure the condition,” Walker said.  “I also strive to help as many people as I can who are paralyzed because of spinal cord injuries to receive the equipment they need to improve their quality of life and to pursue medical treatments that would one-day help them walk again.”

Walker christened his new foundation with its first charity event, the Devon Walker Celebrity Basketball Game, over the Labor Day weekend and received more than $20,000.

“Our first event was a great success and the proceeds will allow us to begin helping others through the foundation,” Walker said.