Joni and Me

Last Saturday, Jerry and I went to a breast cancer seminar at the Reagan Presidential Library, hosted by Los Robles Hospital.

There was a panel of physicians, all experts in breast cancer, each of whom addressed an aspect of disease treatment and recovery.  But the absolute best, the cherry on the cupcake, was the last speaker, Joni Eareckson Tada.

Joni is a dedicated Christian who’s been a quadriplegic for four decades.  I’d heard that she’d received her own breast cancer diagnosis, and in fact, was treated by my own oncologist’s partner.  She received chemo in the same infusion room as me, consulted the same radiation oncologist who benevolently roasted my own breast, and rolled her wheelchair through the same hallways that I walked.

Joni is a well-known author and radio speaker, and she’s like sunshine on a gloomy day.  She’s cheerful.  She sings during her presentation.  It’s like you can hear little birds chirping everywhere she goes.  And until last week, when I watched the video of her breast cancer journey, I never would have believed that Joni experienced the fear, the pain, the search for God’s peace, that I have experienced.

Well, she has.  And has come through on the other side to declare God’s unwavering faithfulness.  Thanks for the leadership, Joni.  Thanks for being human, and for being brave enough to share it.

I would let Joni wear my Viking helmet anytime she wants.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8


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