Joni and Friends: Tada's Cancer Surgery Successful

Quadriplegic disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada has emerged "successfully" from breast cancer surgery and is hopeful of a positive prognosis, a leader with her ministry reported Tuesday.

"Joni's surgery was completed successfully yesterday evening, and she is resting comfortably, preparing to begin the rest of her course of treatment in the next few days," stated Doug Mazza, president and COO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, following Monday's surgery.

Tada, who founded Joni and Friends in 1979 to accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community, was diagnosed with cancer early last week and was informed last Tuesday that the cancer was malignant.

Though the 60-year-old ministry leader confessed that news of the cancer was "alarming," she and her husband said they affirmed their faith in God and said doctors had assured them by noting how more advancements have been made in the last five years in treating breast cancer then in the last 150 years.

"[A]lthough cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me," said Tada, who has been a quadriplegic for more than 40 years.

According to Mazza, Tada's family physician, Dr. Geoffrey Drew, was with the disability advocate all day at Los Robles Medical Center and Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif., standing by as the oncology surgeon, Dr. David Chi, performed the procedure.

Drew, following the surgery, said Tada's cancer was determined to be in Stage 2.

"[A]nd while 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," he reported.

Mazza, in Tuesday's announcement, asked supporters for continued prayers on Tada's behalf, particularly that God would give Tada and her husband, Ken, "more grace and peace for the next steps."

"With prayer and good care, we look forward to her full recovery," Mazza remarked.

According to the ministry, further updates regarding Tada's health and progress will be posted to the "Joni's Corner" section of the Joni and Friends website,

The Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Joni and Friends International Disability Center celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

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