AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (BP)–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 an A. Larry Ross Communications news 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.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.