VIC CHAMPION

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Tabitha Page (she/her)

LIVED EXPERIENCE
Disability, Chronic Illness, Invisible Illness 

KEY INFORMATION

Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Current location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Age: 38 years old 
Language/s: English only
LGBTQIA+: No
NDIS Participant: No (ineligible, NZ citizen)
Diagnoses: Psoriasis, Asthma, Anxiety, Arthritis, Atrial fibrillation,
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), Night Terrors, Hair Loss, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus, TMJ, Hearing Loss (both ears), Stroke, Migraines.
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Allied Health, Secondary care, Tertiary Care.

BIO

Tabitha Page is an accomplished children's book author and disability advocate who lives in Melbourne, Australia. In 2010, she left her home country of New Zealand for a land full of new opportunities and new challenges and she found just that, in bucketsful. A trained childcare professional, she holds a certificate in child psychology, a certificate and diploma in children’s Services and has many years of childcare experience. Caring for children with various illness and disabilities, living with her own Autoimmune disease and with her love for writing, Tabitha decided that sharing her experiences and thoughts was the perfect choice for her and for readers.

In July 2018, her first picture book was launched. ‘Mikah’s Big Move’ is the first in a series and Mikah’s Wandering Feet followed in September 2020.  The books follow the adventures of Mikah the deaf monkey, who uses sign language (AUSLAN) to communicate.​  ‘Forever Friends’ and ‘Today I Met the Sock Fairy’ were both released in 2019.  Tabitha’s fifth children’s picture book ‘I’m a Type One Kid’ released in March 2021 and since then she has also launched her sixth book, titled ‘Anton and Fluff’. Five of Tabitha’s six books feature characters with disability or illness. With these books, she aims to inspire and bring about more awareness and acceptance of those who are a little different from the majority, but no less important and special.  
 
Tabitha lives with Autoimmune disease/ Chronic illness and other health challenges and aims to support, teach, uplift and advocate for other people who also live with illness and/or disability. In 2021, Tabitha founded Forevability alongside the fabulous Amy Marley and together they have created a community of authors, illustrators, publishers and readers who live with, know others who. live with or just want to support the chronic illness and disability community.

Tabitha's lived experiences are intricate and diverse. In addition to many chronic illnesses and acquired hearing loss, she has had multiple small strokes that impact her speech, mobility and fine motor skills. Through working with a multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals, Tabitha is able to have the symptoms resolve over time, only to return when very tired or with other mini-strokes. Tabitha has experience as a carer for people with lived experience of type 1 diabetes and autism spectrum disorder.

This combination of perspectives have given her diverse understandings of how medical professionals and systems can be more kind and accommodating for the people they are serving. Tabitha wants to use her voice, and skills as a writer, to advocate for others - especially those who cannot use their voice. Tabitha reflects on her experiences as a patient where she has had to support other patients, and require others to support her, in order to receive safe and quality care. She wants to use her knowledge and lived experience to improve the way things are done, share insights and humanise medicine. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Author of six children’s books, five of which have characters withdisability/illness - Big Move (July 2018), Forever Friends (June 2019), Today I Met the Sock Fairy (September 2019), Mikah’s Wandering Feet (September 2020), I’m a Type One Kid (March 2021) and Anton and Fluff

  • Book 'I'm a Type One Kid' endorsed by The Type 1 Foundation and included in all of their care packs for newly diagnosed type 1 children

  • Founder of Forevability - an organisation and website showcasing books by authors and illustrators with disability or illness and books about disability, illness, inclusion, diversity, grief and more.

  • Former Secretary and Board Member of Angel Baby (pregnancy and child loss charity).

  • Former Committee Member of Wyndham Cancer Council Relay For Life.

  • Diploma of Children’s Services.

LINKS