Dina Pestonji overcame two strokes and ran half-marathon 10 months later

A Toronto woman has written a book about her struggles with an eating disorder, recovering from a car crash and two strokes, hoping her challenges will inspire other women. Despite having plenty of love and affection from her family, Dina Pestonji, now 35, still felt different from other girls with "pale skin and blue eyes," according to her book, Surviving Myself. The book explores her ensuing decade-long battle with anorexia, a near-fatal car crash and a pair of strokes that nearly crippled her. When asked how she went from learning the alphabet and how to walk again to running a half marathon merely 10 months later, Pestonji is humble. "I needed to be myself again and show myself I could do it," she said. "It was just me proving to myself I'm the same person.She credits having a loving family and friends and a team of physical therapists who pushed her. "I was lucky to have a supportive team. I've never thought anything I've ever done is really remarkable," she said. "I was given a circumstance and my body and mind worked together. I've learned to love myself and be kind to myself which I never was before.

posted Saturday August 18th