Day 29 - Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joni and Friends, is an international advocate for people with disabilities.
A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations. During her rehabilitation, Joni spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth.
Her high-detail fine art painting and prints are now sought-after and collected. Joni wrote a best-selling autobiography Joni and starred in a feature film of the same name, both of which have been translated into many languages, introducing her to people around the world. Since then she has written over 50 books and is a regular columnist in several magazines.
In 1979, Joni founded her nonprofit, Joni and Friends, to provide Christ-centered ministry to special needs families, as well as training for churches. Joni and Friends serves thousands of special needs families through Family Retreats, and has delivered over 160,000 wheelchairs and Bibles to needy individuals with disabilities in developing nations through Wheels for the World. In 2010, Joni battled stage III breast cancer, followed by a second occurrence of cancer in 2018.
Through her challenges with quadriplegia, cancer, and chronic pain, Joni has maintained steadfast courage and hope. Joni and her husband, Ken Tada, have been married since 1982 and enjoy serving the Joni and Friends ministry together.
You can learn more about Joni’s ministry: