Author and ministry leader Joni Eareckson Tada has the coronavirus. Tada, who is in the high-risk category due to her disability and her age, tested positive for the virus, her organization, Joni and Friends, announced on Monday.
“Although this is just the beginning of the road to recovery, her spirits are bright and with treatment she is showing improvement!” an announcement posted to Facebook reads.
Tada, 71, is quadriplegic. She was paralyzed from the shoulder down when she was just 17 years old. Since then, Tada has become an advocate for people with disabilities and shares openly about how her faith in God has sustained her body and her mind. Tada is confined to a wheelchair and suffers from chronic pain. A big part of her life’s work has been spent helping others who are disabled. Tada started Joni and Friends over 40 years ago with the mission of evangelizing and discipling people with disabilities.
Tada has had numerous health struggles over the years, including battles with cancer. In 2018, Tada announced she was battling breast cancer again after recovering from it a few years earlier. After undergoing treatment, Tada was declared “cancer free” in July of last year.
The full statement Joni and Friends posted on Facebook about Tada testing positive for COVID-19 reads:
Thank you for praying for Joni Eareckson Tada after she tested positive for COVID-19! Although this is just the beginning of the road to recovery, her spirits are bright and with treatment she is showing improvement!
Joni said, “Psalm 84:11 assures me that ‘No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly,’ and I am being showered with good courage, good endurance, a heart that sings good songs, and confidence in my good and great Savior.”
Please continue to keep Joni and Ken in your prayers as they rest at home!
Tada also posted an update to her Facebook page in which she thanked followers for all their comments expressing concern and indicating they were praying for her and her husband, Ken:
Thank you for praying for Ken and me following my COVID-19 diagnosis! As I read the many comments from friends like you, wow… I am deeply humbled that the Holy Spirit has garnered so much prayer support for us. I don’t deserve it, but I sure do appreciate it! Thank you for asking God to grant me strength, increased faith, a singing heart, and sure hope!
As I begin the road to recovery, I keep thinking of the untold numbers of people with disabilities all around the world who do not have access to medical help. I’m so grateful for my care and that I can pass the blessing on through the work of Joni and Friends.
Thank you again for your prayers – I want to be fit and ready to tackle the work of the ministry in 2021 as we provide tangible help that reaches more people living with disability for Christ!