May 2015 Survivor Spotlight

Donna J. Payne

Type of Cancer: Breast Cancer

Date of diagnosis: Feb 9, 2010
Number of years cancer free: 5
Age at Diagnosis: 49
Current Age:   54
Occupation: Commercial & Residential Real Estate Broker/ Author



I am a survivor, by His stripes, I am healed! That’s my proclamation every day! For many years, some people saw success in me, when others taught me that I was a failure. From my youth, my upbringing was twisted, I was taught that my contribution to anything was worth nothing and that I was a no- body special, BUT GOD had a plan for me.

My diagnosis of breast cancer was horrific. At first I thought this is a moment to lay down let the Lord take me, because I’m not worth anything. I thought, let’s stop the mental pain now, no one loves me, and I’m not lovable. God laughed, told me to trust and believe, pray and wait, but most importantly to listen, because He had a purpose for me. The experience taught me that there was purpose in my pain, which happens to be my last name too. This journey gave me the strength to stand up for myself, see my value, to say no to people, yes to God, cut others off and out, focus on what matters the most. God released me from fears and doubts; it was the awakening I needed to tap into my true purpose. Breast cancer made me realize that I am free. People put chains on you, and it’s up to you to erase the old tapes in your mind and remove limits.

Since then, I have become a motivational speaker, a woman with purpose to help break chains, mentally, emotionally & financially. I wrote a book: Dare to Soar, A season for change, and I’m working on a 2nd book. I’ve earned my MBA. I joined the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. I am the CEO of Donna Payne Realty, Inc, where we specialize in Condos, houses, & commercial leases and sales. I am single, with an adult son who encourages me. I have a non-profit called Pink Friends Connections, to help breast cancer patients with care packages, donations and resources. My focus is to provide more homebuyer workshops, to empower buyers & homeowners.

I thank God for my wonderful physicians, who dedicate their lives daily, helping people to face and overcome some of the biggest challenges of their lives! I could not have made it without each one of them and their staffs. After 3 surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and 5 years of daily Tamoxifen, I am grateful for another chance to live on PURPOSE!


  1. Forgive those who hurt you, knowingly or unknowingly, every evening. Speak positive words out loud, about you to yourself, affirmations.
  2. Smile, don’t sweat the small stuff, learn to shake things off and laugh at yourself, and give yourself reasons to smile!
  3. Wash your skin 2-3 times a day, don’t take dirt from the day to bed with you, remove make-up; watch out for changes in your eyes, skin, hair, and nails, and listen to your body as it gracefully speaks to you. Love yourself.


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