BALTIMORE — Joni Eareckson Tada was born in 1949 in Baltimore and lived a very active life (riding horses, hiking, tennis and swimming) all through her growing up years. Then on July 30, 1967, after misjudging the shallowness of the water, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay, broke her spine, and became paralyzed from the shoulders down. During occupational therapy, she learned to paint with a brush between her teeth and began selling her artwork. She also learned to write this way, but now uses voice recognition software.
Tada describes herself as an evangelical Christian author, radio host, and founder of Joni and Friends, an organization dedicated to “accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community.” To date, she has written over 48 books on the subjects of disability and Christianity, recorded several musical albums, starred in an autobiographical movie of her life, and is an advocate for people with disabilities.
Tada’s first book “Joni,” written in 1976, became an international best-selling autobiography. This recounting of her struggle against quadriplegia and depression has been translated into over 30 languages and made into a feature film. Her second book, “A Step Further,” is Tada’s response to the thousands of letters she received from people puzzled about the “whys” of suffering. Tada responds to these questions by showing how God used circumstances, people, and events in her own life and the lives of others to provide meaning to her disability. She has also written several children’s books including “Tell Me The Promises” and “Tell Me The Truth” which both received the Evangelical Christian Publishers’ Association’s Gold Medallion.
Joni and Friends began a five-minute radio program in 1982 which can still be heard each weekday on over 1,000 broadcast outlets.
Tada also records a one-minute radio broadcast “Diamonds in the Dust” that airs daily. Both programs provide listeners with a spiritual motivational boost for the day and have received the “Radio Program of the Year” award from National Religious Broadcasters.
Joni married Ken Tada in 1982 and writes in the genre: Christian writer – Christian writing attempts to show readers that a religious faith is important for a balanced life and that it can provide inspiration to endure or overcome challenges they experience.
Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) invites you to have fun writing an inspirational piece like Tada does. Using up to 100 words, write an inspirational “radio moment” encouraging people who are struggling to look top their faith to help them make it through.
Submit your Fun With Words response to: https://marylandwriters.org/Notable_Maryland_Authors by the 25th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words submission certificate.