Meet Tamara Nowitzki, an author, former Australian Paralympian and World Champion swimmer.
Judging by these credentials, you can agree that she is ‘no ordinary girl’. However, what makes Tamara even more extraordinary is that she suffers from severe physical and mental disabilities.
Tamara was born with Cerebal Palsy. At the age of 25, she was also diagnosed with Dopa-Responsive Dystonia, a condition similar to Parkinson’s Disease. Additionally, she suffers from depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Despite her diagnoses’s, Tamara swam for Australia at both the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games, winning a silver medal in the 100m Breaststroke at the Sydney 2000 Games. She also won a silver medal in this event at the 1998 World Swimming Championships held in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Not only has this incredible lady excelled in the the sporting fields, but she has also penned her own autobiography called ‘No Ordinary Girl’. Tamara is passionate about encouraging positive community acceptance and has written this story about her life in the hope of de-stigmatizing mental illness and encouraging an inclusive approach to these common illnesses.
The book follows her journey with severe depression, anxiety and OCD; how she has used strategies to help overcome these mental health challenges and live the life she seeks.
‘Although I have faced many difficult and unknown challenges through my mental illness, I know that there is always hope — hope of overcoming struggles and enjoying my life,’ tells Tamara.
‘My many admissions in hospital have taught me that reaching out and asking for help at the most difficult of times is the only way forward. It has also taught me not view my challenges as personal faults or failures. So, if you are facing challenges or difficulties, I deeply encourage you to reach out for help and move forward.’
You can find local support group, the Samford Health And Wellbeing Support Group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samfordhealthandwellbeingsupportgroup/ or visit their website https://samford.qld.lions.org.au/sponsors