AGOURA HILLS, Calif. Joni Eareckson Tada has a positive prognosis after breast cancer surgery June 28, according to her physician.
"Joni's cancer was determined to be Stage 2," Dr. Geoffrey Drew reported, according to a press release. "[W]hile some lymph nodes were affected and Joni will need chemotherapy to follow up this surgery, this is a highly survivable cancer and we anticipate a positive prognosis," Drew said.
The surgery was performed by oncology surgeon David Chi at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Doug Mazza, president of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center in Agoura Hills, Calif., said Tada, 60, is resting comfortably and "appreciative of all the prayers on her and her husband Ken's behalf and is grateful to God for His sustaining grace and extra measure of strength during this time. … With prayer and good care, we look forward to her full recovery."
Tada, a quadriplegic, is an internationally known advocate for the disabled; founder and chief executive officer of Joni and Friends International Disability; and an artist and author.
"I've often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us," Tada said several days prior to the surgery. "So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me. Yes, it's alarming, but rest assured that Ken [her husband] and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope and strengthen our witness to others."
Tada said her quadriplegia would not significantly impact either the surgery or the treatment. "I'm like any other woman who has breast cancer," she said. "I want to pour all my energies into getting better."
Tada was 17 when, in 1967, she was injured in a diving accident that rendered her a quadriplegic. During two years of rehabilitation, she spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high-detail fine art paintings and prints have become collectors' items.
Her autobiography "Joni" and a feature film of the same name released by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have introduced her to people around the world. She has served on the National Council on Disability and is senior associate for disability concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. She and her husband were married in 1982.
Updates of Tada's recovery will be posted to the "Joni's Corner" section of the Joni and Friends ministry website at www.joniandfriends.org.
Joni Eareckson Tada to undergo breast cancer surgery
AGOURA HILLS, Calif. Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic who has built one of the nation’s largest Christian ministries to the disabled, will undergo surgery for breast cancer.
“Joni is to undergo several more tests, followed by surgery within the week,” Doug Mazza, president and COO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, said in a statement released June 23. “The extent of the cancer will not be determined until the procedure.”
According to Mazza, Joni's husband of nearly 28 years, Ken Tada, is hopeful of the her prognosis.
“The doctors have assured us that more advancements have been made in the last five years in treating breast cancer then in the last 150 years,” her husband said. “We are confident Joni is in very good hands.”
Joni, a quadriplegic for more than 40 years, is founder of the center that bears her name and has been a strong advocate for people with disabilities. She has served on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She is senior associate for disability concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and serves in an advisory capacity to the American Leprosy Mission, the National Institute on Learning Disabilities, as well as on the boards of reference for the Christian Writers' Guild and the Christian Medical and Dental Society.
“I've often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us,” Joni said in her statement. “So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me. Yes, it's alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope and strengthen our witness to others.”
Joni said the diagnosis will enable her to speak with authority to those struggling with the disease.
“For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer ... now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God's grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability.”
The course of Joni’s treatment will be determined after surgeons have a better idea of the extent of the cancer.
“Thankfully, my quadriplegia does not significantly impact either the surgery or the treatment,” she said. “I'm like any other woman who has breast cancer. I want to pour all my energies into getting better.”
Updates regarding Joni's health and progress, including an area to post well wishes, will be linked to the “Joni's Corner” section of the Joni and Friends ministry website at www.joniandfriends.org.