profile image

Dina Pestonji

Motivational Speaker, Author, 4x TEDx Speaker

My name is Dina Pestonji and I am a proud East Indian female. At 29 years of age, I had a massive stroke requiring emergency brain surgery. When I woke up, I had no voice and couldn’t move the right side of my body. I had become an infant trapped in a woman’s body…

I could not allow this devastating turn of events define me. I fought against all odds and ran my 7th half marathon a mere 10 months after being hospital-bed ridden.

Having a stroke was not my first life-altering set-back. As a young girl, I battled eating disorders for over 10 years and in my late 20s, was the victim of a near-fatal car crash.

In 2016, I 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.  My 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.

I am a 4x TEDx speaker and have been invited to speak worldwide at places such as Google in Switzerland, BNP Paribas in France and Belgium, and numerous educational institutions.

I write for HuffPost Canada's Blog and am proud to be on the board of Women’s Brain Health Initiative and represent Sheena’s Place as an Ambassador.

I 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. I 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, I 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, Paris and San Francisco. I am now based in Toronto. 

For more, please visit

Do You Love

Do You Love Yourself?

Let's go back - August 2016. I've decided to take the evening to myself and de-stress. After leaving my corporate job to build my own company six months earlier, anxiety and stress levels are quite hi...
07/12/2017 12:53 EDT
Why I Look At This Picture Of Myself Whenever I Feel Dina Pestonji

Why I Look At This Picture Of Myself Whenever I Feel Down

My sister Yasmin took this picture on Jan 7, 2013. It was after my six-hour long emergency brain surgery. No one knew if I would wake up, but she took this picture. After months of living in the hospital and doing more weeks of therapy that I can count, I did recover from having a stroke and brain surgery.
01/17/2017 11:42 EST
The Power Of Knowing What Makes You David Trood via Getty Images

The Power Of Knowing What Makes You Smile

Next time that you feel your mind is going towards a negative path -- think about what makes you smile which will help put the negative thoughts in perspective. Take a walk, go to your favorite coffee shop around the corner, call your best friend or look at pictures of your dog on your phone.
05/24/2016 05:05 EDT
What It Is Like To Be A TEDx Dina Pestonji

What It Is Like To Be A TEDx Speaker

I had to be in the moment because my brain would not allow me to think ahead. As I was speaking, it terrified me. What if I would forget my next line? But it was a blessing. I was forced to be present, in that moment and think about the emotions in my story.
05/18/2016 11:34 EDT
The Importance Of Taking Time For Dear Blue via Getty Images

The Importance Of Taking Time For You

A few months ago, a lovely little birdie (aka my smart, insightful sister) told me something that I took to heart. She said "You don't want to be the reason you fail." If I work so hard and burnout, I will not be able to build a successful company.
04/25/2016 09:18 EDT