49 Years of Quadriplegia

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 29, 2016
  • Disability Awareness


This Saturday, July 30, marks 49 years since Joni’s diving accident. Joni’s life was changed forever. But through all of the challenges, God has worked through Joni’s disability to reveal His sovereignty.

49 years ago, I took a reckless dive into shallow water – it was a fateful dive which completely altered my life. At first, when doctors told me I would be a quadriplegic, I sank into a deep depression. Thankfully, Christian friends were praying and, eventually, I began to take a closer look at the Bible to see what God had to say about my plight. I learned that the God of the Bible is not sometimes sovereign. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. He is supremely in charge (often for purposes we cannot understand the side of eternity). But as we trust Him, some of those purposes can become plain. And for me, His purpose has meant giving the love of Christ to thousands of people with disabilities here and abroad. That is worth decades of life in a wheelchair.

To celebrate all that God has done through Joni’s faithfulness, would you consider giving a special gift to Joni and Friends this month?

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Thank you for your partnership in sharing the hope of Christ with people affected by disability!


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A neighbor borrowed from me your first book after my brother's spinal cord injury. He isn't a big talker, so your book really helped me see his accident from his point of view. Some of the things you said in the book were exactly the same things I have heard him say. His accident was a year and a half ago, and although a treacherous path for all involved,your book has brought comfort knowing a person can live the daily struggles as courageously as you do. Thanks for sharing your story.
  • Feb. 22, 2017
  • 5:44 p.m.
  • Lindsey
you have been an inspiration since the past 40 years and i still feel blessed by you and your walk with jesus
  • Aug. 4, 2016
  • 9:06 a.m.
  • rita Edelenbos
God bless you, Joni. You have been my hero ever since I learned of you years ago. We are near the same age, and your faithfulness and commitment to the truth has been my inspiration again and again. I love you and look forward one day to meeting you!
  • Aug. 1, 2016
  • 11:11 p.m.
  • Cindy Laird
Joni you have from a very young age been such an inspiration to me..you have always been open about your feelings whatever they were/are..your love for God and books you have written..I never thought I would be disabled but now am..I hope I can in some small way react as you have and keep close to God. God bless you
  • July 30, 2016
  • 1:02 p.m.
  • Sarah vlismas
May the Lord touch your heart deeply with His peace and encouragement. Thank you, Joni and Ken, for your faith-filled lives. Praying that--especially today--you will feel God's smile and strength as you hold on to Him going forward.
  • July 30, 2016
  • 6:04 a.m.
  • Rachel Wetzler
Joni, your life has been a true inspiration to me and so many others throughout the years. Thank you for sharing your struggles and the hope you have in Jesus Christ!
  • July 29, 2016
  • 8:52 p.m.
  • Linda
She looks beautiful! God Bless.
  • July 29, 2016
  • 6:33 p.m.
  • Mary Ann
Joni, When I was first injured now 16 years ago due to a mistake with an epidural while giving birth I reached out to you. You responded immediately. I'll always be thankful. I'm sure you hear the word inspirational often. I think it tends to get overused however not when used in the same sentence with Joni Tada. I have had enough years in the chair to understand more fully what you've done... your setbacks (we all have them) and the greatest challenge of all not succumbing to despair. You're the real thing..... I admire what you have done on behalf of those with disabilities. It remains a fragmented population still alone and alienated from the very idea of "the good life" You grasp something about God that I still struggle with but I hope....maybe one day I will have the grace and strength. thank you Joni. Annette
  • July 29, 2016
  • 3:38 p.m.
  • Annette Ross
Jona.... Thank you so much for your testimony. I love your singing, paintings, and your service! You are a blessing to me! Please add me to your devotional list!
  • July 29, 2016
  • 2:53 p.m.
  • Rita Prater
Thank you, Joni, for your steadfast witness to the world!!!
  • July 29, 2016
  • 11:55 a.m.
  • Kathy Roeth
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