THE BATTLE against cancer continues for wheelchair-bound heroine Joni Eareckson Tada who is trusting God – whatever the eventual outcome.
Disability advocate Joni, aged 69, lives in Agoura Hills, California, USA with her husband Ken. The author of 50 books, she is the founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, sharing the Gospel and helping those with disabilities on an international level.
Joni has undergone extensive radiotherapy but a doctor gave her the good news in February that it looks as though the cancer cells are being killed.
Joni has suffered for 51 years with quadriplegia and chronic pain after a diving accident at the age of 17. She won over a conflict with stage three breast cancer eight years ago and had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Last November she and her husband Ken were given the devastating news that the cancer had returned.
At the time, she said: “When I received the unexpected news of cancer from my oncological surgeon, I relaxed and smiled, knowing that my sovereign God loves me dearly and holds me tightly in his hands.”
Joni has been encouraging herself with a memory of her sister telling her to ‘look up!’ when, as an able-bodied youngster, she was horse riding with her family through the swollen Patapsco River in central Maryland.
“It’s so easy to stare at the many uncertainties swirling around my health, like pain that’s persistent, cancer that haunts, and a disability that’s weakening with age. But then I recall my sister’s words, ‘Look up!’ I remember the courage I gained from looking toward my family waiting on the other side of the river.
“Every time I feel my courage waning, I remind myself ‘Look up, Joni! Keep looking up! There’s my Saviour and sure footing just ahead!’ That’s when my courage is renewed.”