The Amazing Story of Dina Pestonji

After suffering a severe stroke that required emergency brain surgery to remove part of her skull, 29-year-old Dina Pestonji lay in a Toronto Western Hospital bed, unable to speak or move the right side of her body. She feared she would never walk again.

But a couple of weeks later, in late January, she could wiggle her right toe. Then, slightly lift her right leg. These tiny, but monumental, movements fuelled her hope and resolve.

The naturally right-handed woman, reached for a pen with her left hand and in large childlike letters wrote: OCT, MR and 20. It took days for her family to decipher its meaning: Pestonji was determined to run in the Oct. 20 marathon.

After months of rehabilitative therapy, Pestonji will run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, with the goal of completing a half-marathon, or 21 kms., in less than two and a half hours.

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