Dina Pestonji

Survivor - Mental Health and Resilience Expert

At 29 years of age, Dina, an East-Indian female, had 2 massive strokes requiring emergency brain surgery. When she woke up, she had no ability to speak, was paralyzed on the right side of her entire body and it was unclear if she was in a vegetative state. She had tragically become an infant trapped in a woman’s body.

Dina Pestonji would not allow this devastating turn of events define her. Armed with unbridled determination, Dina fought against all odds and ran her 7th half marathon a mere 10 months after being hospital-bed ridden. Having a stroke was not her first life-altering set-back. As a young girl, she battled eating disorders for over 10 years and in her late 20’s, was the victim of a near-fatal car crash.

In 2016, she decided to leave corporate life to pursue her passion of showing people to believe in themselves so that they can reach their full potential in every facet of life. Her memoir “Surviving Myself: How an Eating Disorder, a Car Crash and a Stroke Taught Me To Love My Life and Finally Live It,” was published in 2018. Dina Pestonji is a four time TEDx speaker and has been invited to speak worldwide at places such as Google in Switzerland, BNP Paribas in France and Belgium, and numerous educational institutions. Dina Pestonji writes for the Huffington Post Blog and is proud to be on the board of Women’s Brain Health Initiative and represent Sheena’s Place as an Ambassador.

Dina Pestonji graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc Degree in Psychology, and went on to pursue certificate training in business studies at the Rotman School of Management. She went on to earn my Masters Degree in business studies abroad in London and Paris at the European School of Business. Before becoming a Speaker and Author, Dina worked in the financial, education and e-commerce sectors as a consultant, manager and sales professional in cities across the globe including New York, London UK, Paris and San Francisco.

Topic Presentations

We are all capable of much more than we can imagine. In this personal and emotional talk, Dina shares her unbelievable story of going from jet-setting corporate executive to helpless infant after unexpectedly having 2 strokes requiring emergency brain surgery at 29.  Dina shares relevant examples and provides a tool kit on how to survive and thrive amidst both small and large obstacles, at work or personal life.  This talk has audiences feeling resilient, engaged and determined to fearlessly adapt to any situation they face.

Playing it safe and mediocrity doesn’t cut it if you want your organization to stand out. Dina has a lifetime of experiences of pushing the envelope and rebounding after failure, both personally and professionally, which she shares in this candid eye-opening talk. This talk will have your employees stepping outside of their comfort zone, thinking creatively, pushing their own boundaries that will ultimately result in a positive impact for your business.

In today’s age of being connected to phones and social media 24/7, mental health has taken a backseat while rates of anxiety and depression skyrocket. Life in the digital age is negatively impacting performance and success at work unless appropriate steps are taken to prioritize mental health. After writing her memoir, Dina was forced to reexamine her life with a deep focus on mental health transformation. She will share effective tools that every person can do daily that will remarkably transform mental and emotional wellbeing with direct results on employee productivity, satisfaction and engagement.

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Surviving Myself: How An Eating Disorder, A Car Accident And A Stroke Taught Me To Love My Life And Finally Start Living It

GROWING UP, DINA PESTONJI was afforded all the comfort, love and affection anyone could ask for. She should have been a happy, carefree girl. But from the age of 10, she felt uncomfortably "different," like an ugly brown duckling in a sea of perfect girls with white skin and blue eyes. In this powerful, brutally honest memoir, Dina vividly describes the losing battle that engulfed her mind and body—one with a hateful, self-loathing and cruel inner critic. Consumed by a misguided obsession with fitting in, being exceptional and "perfect," she unknowingly allowed a deep self-hatred to set in over the years—a hatred that not even her acceptance at the swankiest schools nor a dream job in California could change. Only after surviving a horrific car crash and a paralyzing stroke while still in her 20s, did she begin to see herself for who she really was: strong, independent, a fighter...blessed. Surviving Myself, is the captivating, emotionally charged story of the author's journey to self-acceptance and inner peace, narrated with the refreshing candour of a close friend. Alternately humourous, shocking and heartbreaking, it is also the story of a family's overflowing love.

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