Born in Montreal, Quebec, Laura-Dawn spent her first twelve years in St. Bruno-de-Montarville. Her family then moved to British Columbia, where she attended high school in North Vancouver. Returning to her native Montreal at the age of seventeen, she entered McGill University where she ultimately acquired a bachelor of arts degree in English literature. During her time at the university, Laura-Dawn did some modeling and then started competing in the exciting world of pageants. She secured the title of Miss Montreal in September 1988. The following month, she placed as a semi-finalist at the 1989 Miss Canada Pageant. Her search for meaning brought her to meet Mother Teresa and subsequently to work in the slums of India during an era in which her choice was considered unusual. Having been interviewed about her extraordinary experience by local reporters from various newspapers and magazines, some of her more noteworthy honours include being featured in World Vision telecasts and one internationally-aired telecast, the Billy Graham Crusade.

Passionate to pursue the path less traveled, Laura-Dawn has since attained a master of arts degree in biblical studies from the University of Sheffield in England, and a master of science degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In preparation for continuing her humanitarian work, she has also recently completed the International Interprofessional Wound Care Course through the University of Toronto. She has been working as a nurse practitioner in various health care settings over the last 21 years in both the United States and Canada, and currently works in the province of Ontario.