JONI EARECKSON TADA
Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder and chief executive officer of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, 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. She founded Joni and Friends in 1979 to provide Christ-centered programs to special-needs families, as well as training to churches. Joni and Friends serves thousands of special-needs families through Family Retreats, and has delivered over 100,000 wheelchairs and Bibles to needy disabled persons in developing nations.
Joni’s lifelong passion is to bring the Gospel to the world’s one billion people with disabilities. Joni survived stage 3 breast cancer in 2010, yet keeps a very active ministry schedule. She and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.