Oroville, California. -- An inspiring young woman won a state pageant title this week.
Tabitha Machart has a disability, but she didn't let it keep her from winning Miss California HeartShine 2018.
"For me, it symbolizes no matter with a disability, you are able to do anything you can achieve," said Machart.
Machart has bronchomalacia, which comes from diminished cartilage support of the smaller airways.
"I would say perseverance is something you need to have in life," said Machart.
These words have driven Tabitha Machart all her life and this weekend they led her to clench a state pageant title.
"It was kind of emotional because I had been competing in pageants for five years now so when I won the title, I just dropped to the ground," said Machart.
"HeartShine is like no other pageant, our judges focus on what's on the inside out. Our judges' scoring cards are never focused on what the girl looks like or what she's wearing," said Ciara Barnes, Founder of Miss California HeartShine Pageant.
For many young girls, Machart is an example on not letting life's challenges get in the way of pursuing your dreams.
"I don't let it affect me, I do what any normal person would do, like go to a community college," said Machart.
Machart is studying hard at Butte College to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a second grade teacher. She wants to focus on students with disabilities.
"It's really exciting, it's been a long journey, a lot of smiles and a lot of tears," said Wilda Croxton, Tabitha's mother.
When Machart was two, she got really sick and doctors didn't think she'd make it past 2 years old.
"For her to be doing some of the things she's doing today is inspiring just to me, and I'm her mom," said Croxton.
"Just something I've been taught is to smile and have fun no matter what. It's always about being yourself and showing your bright outfit," said Machart.
You can find out more about the next pageant here.
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