Joni and Friends envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. Our mission is to glorify God as we communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability.
Joni and Friends began with Joni and a few friends and family members answering mail around her dining room table. Because of her many speaking engagements, the publication of her first book and release of the movie based on her story, Joni took the advice of mentors and established the non-profit Joni and Friends in 1979.
How did Joni Eareckson Tada become paralyzed?Joni and Friends2023-06-13T14:08:45-07:00
Joni Eareckson Tada was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in June of 2010. After surgery and chemotherapy, she was declared cancer-free. In late 2018, Joni’s breast cancer returned. She underwent radiation during the following year and continues an anti-cancer regimen today. There is currently no evidence of cancer remaining anywhere in her body. You can read all of Joni’s cancer updates here.
Joni Eareckson married Ken Tada on July 3, 1982 in Sun Valley, California. Until his retirement in 2003, Ken taught history and coached football at the same high school he attended as a teen. You can hear more from Joni and Ken on the podcast.
Joni Eareckson Tada injured her neck at the cervical level 4/5 and has no movement below her collarbone. Through therapy, Joni has learned how to make the most of the muscles in her shoulders so that she is able to move her arms to a certain degree. Braces on her forearms help her achieve additional control so that she can operate her motorized wheelchair with a joystick or feed herself with a special spoon inserted into her brace.
Until his retirement in 2003, Ken taught history and coached football at the same high school he attended as a teen. While he enjoys many retirement activities including fly fishing, he still takes an active role with Joni and Friends from his office, on the road with Joni, and as a Joni and Friends board member.