Dr. Donny (Don) was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where he developed his passion for all sports, but found a unique love for the game of soccer. At the age of 17, he had a snowboarding accident that left him nearly paralyzed. Due to emergency surgery, relentless rehab, his amazing family, and God’s grace, Dr. Donny was not only able to return to soccer, but received a scholarship to Azusa Pacific University. There he found success on and off the field boasting back-to-back NAIA National Championship Final appearances while graduating cum-laude in 3 years with a degree in Psychology.
His love for sports followed him after graduation as he began training athletes at Performax Training Center while also running the Sports Ministry at his church. During this time, Dr. Donny’s passion for helping people greatly surpassed his educational ability to do so and that kept him up at night. This deep longing to know more birthed his 5 year journey of obtaining his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. After graduating, Dr. Donny spent a year studying under Dr. Chris Powers at the University of Southern California researching and developing tools for identifying and treating movement dysfunction in the running athlete. Since, he has worked with hundreds of professional, collegiate, high school, and avid runners from all over the country.
Dr. Donny and his wife, Bethany, moved to Kansas City in 2014 to start Freedom PTTC and bring their experiences and education to a rapidly growing/active community. They also love the idea of raising their growing family in the Midwest.
Q&A with Donny:
What's the best part of your story so far?
I'd say the whole story! Breaking my neck (literally), college soccer, life at Performax Training Center, Sports Ministry, MARRYING MY WIFE, raising our children, PT School, moving to KC, and starting Freedom PTTC. *Side note: My brother-in-law, Zach Zarda, is a really fast runner. Getting to work with him is a big reason we now live in KS.
What organization or company inspires you and why?
Any and all non-profits crushing it with the limited resources.
What is something no one would ever believe to be true about you?
I have an old soul. Love front porches, rocking chairs, and early mornings with an inspiring book. I love to read.
What are you passionate about related to the work you do in serving others?
Absolutely everything. Freedom PTTC is a life long dream and being able to love on people together with my wife brings an unexplainable joy to my heart.
What are you doing when you feel most like you?
Combination of having my mind blown while learning of new research in respect to advancements in biomechanics and hosting friends and family at my house for BBQ's.
In an alternative life, what would you want to give a try?
I honestly wouldn't want to change much, but being a professional baseball player seems like it would be pretty sweet for a few years. Maybe being a farmer would be cool.
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