John Tartaglio of Milford, an inspirational speaker and author of “From Tragedy to Triumph,” was the keynote speaker at the recent Kennedy Center Awards Dinner and was recognized as the 2014 winner of The Kennedy Center Vision Award.

“This prestigious award is given to an individual who has the vision to elevate the human consciousness to believe in the potential of all people,” Kennedy Center officials said.

Tartaglio’s inspirational story and journey started on Aug. 22, 2004, when he awoke with unbearable pain in his legs. He lost his legs to a bacterial infection at age 17 when he contracted a disease so rare it’s only been documented 35 times.

He went on to graduate from Fairfield University with honors and became the first person to run in the New York Marathon without legs, using prosthetics.

Tartaglio still lives in Milford with his wife and daughter.