Italian paralympian Veronica Yoko Plebani will be host at the upcoming Women In Investment Awards Italy 2019, an event that seeks to recognise women working in the Italian financial industry.
Plebani contracted an acute case of bacterial meningitis when she was 15, which left her body, particularly her arms and legs, severely scarred and impaired.
Support of family and friends got her through an initial period of feeling scared of how others might perceive her, but despite the odds stacked against her, Plebani, a lifelong athlete, adapted to her new body and took her athleticism to a new level, representing Italy and joining the nearby Kayak Canoa Club Palazzolo in her Northern Italian hometown of Palazzolo sull'Oglio.
"After my illness, I didn't set out with something to prove. But in the first months out of the hospital, sports showed me how many incredible things my body could do and, somehow, made me love it even more."
Plebani had been a snowboarder before her battle with meningitis, but afterwards went on to represent Italy at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi and compete in kayaking at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2017, she took on yet another sport, paratriathlon, and earned a pair of gold medals, at the 2017 ITA Paratriathlon National Championships and the 2017 Besancon ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.
Currently a member of Italian private professional triathlon team 707Team, Plebani is hoping to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. But she's never too busy to be a beacon of body positivity.
"If I can help, even just one girl or a boy, to feel more confident in her or his body, that means the world to me".
To find out all about the Awards, including the women shortlisted across the different categories, click here: http://events.investmenteurope.net/womenininvestment