Melanie Taddeo is a passionate advocate who, at the age of 21, suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed on her left side and legally blind. After years of therapy she was able to regain her independence, and go on to become the first legally blind teacher to graduate in Ontario, as a certified special education teacher. She has 10 years’ experience in program development, fundraising, community outreach, volunteer management, and public speaking. She founded Connect4Life, www.connect4life.ca, because of her personal experience of the lack of programs that promote independence for people with disabilities. She has made it her goal to help empower others to achieve their dreams despite the challenges they face.