Joni Eareckson Tada has been journeying with radio listeners for three decades. In May, the inspirational host's daily, five-minute program, "Joni and Friends Radio," reached its 30th anniversary, with over 7,800 episodes to date. What once seemed impossible for the woman, who has worked feverishly to educate her listeners about people who live with disabilities, has come to fruition in a way she could have never imagined.
Tada, who once was so depressed over her own paralyzation that she considered suicide, is, today, one of the most recognizable and well-known advocates for individuals with disabilities. Her work -- and her passion -- are widely known.
The Christian Post shares more about the long journey that inevitably brought Tada's thoughts and inspirational messages to millions of individuals around the world (an archive of her past shows is available here):
Tada laughed when she was first approached by the Ambassador Advertising Agency about hosting the program in 1982, because at the time she was bedridden.
"My life was confined to those four walls in that bedroom. And here they were, telling me that what God had taught me in my wheelchair, and what I had been sharing in books and speaking from various platforms...would be very valuable to listeners across the country," Tada told The Christian Post on Thursday.
In 1967, at the age of 17, Tada became a quadriplegic after she was injured in a diving accident, but shortly after she made it her mission to help others who are affected by disabilities. Her radio program has addressed a wide-variety of topics from a biblical worldview over the years, though the topic of disability awareness is particularly close to her heart.
"I thank my Savior for the energy, breath, and the insights from His Word; and, I'm looking forward to sharing more with our listeners in the months and years to come," Tada proclaims on her radio show's web page.
Watch the PBS special, below, to learn more about Tada discuss her faith, disability and breast cancer struggle:
Tada views her radio program -- one of the many branches of her Christian ministry -- as an opportunity to be open an honest. The experience, a personal journal of sorts, provides the host with a platform that enables her to educate others, while sharing her own personal struggles and challenges.
"I'm honest to share those things on the radio, and I think people resonate with that. They like someone to confess that they've got a long way to go, and I've got a long way to go," Tada told the Post.
And Tada has apparently done an excellent job, because earlier this year, the faithful host was inducted into the National Religious Broadcaster's Hall of Fame -- a distinct honor for Christian media personalities.
In addition to her work with the radio show, Tada also founded the Joni and Friends International Disability Center back in 1979. To this day, the organization serves as a home base for ministries that serve people with disabilities and their families. Additionally, the organization provides essentially training opportunities for various groups.
Read more about Tada's incredible story over at the Post.