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'Tripping with Nathan' is the story of Nathan Runyan-Tait and his life with his parents – Robin Tait and Valerie Runyan. 


This book, written by the late Robin Tait and now being celebrated and promoted by Valerie, is a story of resilience and determination.


It will make you laugh and make you cry. 

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Tripping with Nathan book front cover

Introduction to 'Tripping with Nathan' - the book

“It is not the purpose of this book to describe the grief. This story is about overcoming it.”

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About Nathan

Nathan Runyan Tait was an incredible young man.  Born with severe cerebral palsy, Nathan lived a life fuller than many people.   With a smile that would stop strangers and a laugh that would light up a room, Nathan was the happiest person in the world.  He didn’t know how to be bad and he wanted for nothing except love.


From front row seats at a Rolling Stones concert to meeting the orangutans in Borneo to centre stage of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and everything in between, there wasn’t much that Nathan and his parents - Robin and Valerie - couldn’t achieve.


Nathan’s biggest gift to Robin and Valerie was to teach them what really mattered in life, he grounded them and gave them a richer emotionally balanced life. He taught them to laugh at themselves and some of the ridiculous situations they found themselves in. As Robin states in Tripping with Nathan, …"We are happy with what he did for us because - and we are absolutely sure about this - he made us better people. He taught us patience, tolerance and unconditional love.”

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The boys in Oregon tshirts

About Robin

Robin had many achievements in his life, but his biggest love – and by far his biggest achievement – was his son Nathan. 


Robin was kind, stubborn, the ‘king of the band-aid solution’ and always with a sparkle in his eye. 


Robin didn’t believe in worrying about things out of his control, which allowed him to always focus on what was best for Nathan.


Robin retired from his professional career as an academic in 2008 where he had spent his professional life reading, writing, researching or teaching about sport. 


Robin had written three fiction manuscripts and a number of short stories, with ‘Tripping with Nathan’ being his first published book.

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About Valerie

Valerie was the ideal match to Robin’s rule breaking attitude and together they made the perfect team.  As a family, with Nathan, they described themselves as the power of three. Each of them brought unique strengths to the family and without this power the family would never have achieved what they did.


Valerie retired from her professional career in marketing, communications and academia in 2020.  Valerie will now focus her energy on celebrating Nathan and Robin’s lives and everything they achieved, through the promotion of Tripping with Nathan

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Valerie's Mission

'Tripping with Nathan' is the extraordinary story of one family's experience of living with a disability. 


And now, Valerie is passionate for the world to hear Nathan’s story and learn from their experiences.

Valerie's mission is to;

  • To promote to the general population, parents and carers that regardless of your abilities everyone should live a full life and contribute to the community they live in. 

  • To teach parents and families to identify the hurdles they find themselves and to focus on the solutions to overcome them. 

To find out more about Val and speaking opportunities, please click on the link below

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Further information - disability support

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