Heart for the Disabled

Join us as we celebrate and encourage five families living with disability through our annual Heart for the Disabled program. Each family will be featured on the Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope radio program and surprised with your handmade cards, pictures, poems, and Bible verses given in the name of Jesus. Below are brief descriptions of each family.

Please send your cards and gifts to: PO Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376

No monetary gifts are expected, but if God moves in your heart to give, please make checks payable to Joni and Friends. In the memo line, please note HFTD followed by mom or dad’s name. We apologize that online giving is not possible for this program.

Download printable PDF

John, Juliana, Qorban, and Matea

John, Juliana, Qorban (9), Matea (6)

John and Juliana serve as missionaries to the refugee population in St. Louis, Missouri. While faithfully ministering in their community, Juliana and John have their own unique challenges as special needs parents. Their son Qorban is visually impaired, non-verbal, and a wheelchair user; he also has frequent seizures. Raising a child with such complex challenges takes its toll physically and emotionally—not only on John and Juliana but on younger sister Matea as well. The Missouri Family Retreat provides an opportunity for rest, refreshment, and special memories. At their first retreat, Qorban went down the water slide, and Matea caught her first fish! They returned the following year and blessed everyone by leading worship.


Tracy was a freshman in college, planning a career in jewelry design, when she was seriously injured in a car accident. She is unable to speak and has limited use of her hands. Despite her physical challenges, Tracy still loves to design jewelry. Her necklaces are imprinted with a leaping deer, reminding recipients that one day the lame will leap for joy. Tracy has recently moved into an independent living home, away from her parents for the first time. She is selflessly giving them a respite from caregiving, but it is also hard for her to be away from her family and community. You can read Tracy’s blogs on the Joni and Friends Mississippi Facebook page.

Tracy smiling in her wheelchair
Delasber and Amoree at Family Retreat

Delasber and Amoree (11)

Delasber brought her daughter Amoree to the Mississippi Family Retreat for Single Parents. The event was much-needed respite for Delasber, who had recently lost her husband, mother, and best friend. Amoree has autism and only communicates via iPad and some sign language. She struggles with mobility outside of her wheelchair. Delasber loved seeing Amoree have fun canoeing and listening to music with her retreat buddy! Between her grief, caregiving, and homeschooling, Delasber carries a heavy load. She and Amoree are thankful for the Joni and Friends community.

Brandon, Kathy, Grafton (12), Samson (7), and Mandy Chloe (5)

Brandon and Kathy welcomed Mandy Chloe, who has Down syndrome, into the family in 2019. She joined big brothers Grafton and Samson. The family loved attending their first Family Retreat in North Carolina in 2021, and they immediately made plans to return the next year. Just a few months before the 2022 retreat, Brandon suffered a bilateral stroke and underwent an emergency craniectomy. After 15 days in the hospital, Brandon went home, and the family realized their increased need for practical and spiritual support. What better place to get help than a Joni and Friends Family Retreat! Though still healing, the family gives God glory for Brandon’s recovery so far.

Brandon, Kathy, Grafton, Samson, and Mandy Chloe at Family Retreat
Leon, Kim, and Isaiah at Family Retreat

Leon, Kim, and Isaiah (14)

Leon and Kim stepped back into parenthood when they adopted their grandson Isaiah at the age of two. Caring for Isaiah is not easy, as he lives with traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, and other disabilities. Kim and Leon have had to relearn how to be parents, yet they find great joy in caring for Isaiah. They were blessed to see him bond with his Family Retreat buddy, Sullivan, who also has a disability. Family Retreat was a great place for Isaiah and his grandparents to find the support and connection often missing in their everyday lives.

Do you have a question?