People Who Inspire Joni: Ellen Dibler

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 24, 2016

                    Ellen DiblerJoni and Ellen

I am always inspired by other women with disabilities who keep persevering through every challenge – especially women who, like me, are aging.  Meet Ellen Dibler who has lived with spina bifida longer than anyone else in the US – she’s over 70 years old, has been married to her husband Larry for over 40 years, and remains actively involved in Joni and Friends/Texas.  She and Larry have two sons and they are happy grandparents to eight wonderful grandchildren.  What inspires me most about Ellen, is her unflappable enthusiasm for life (here we are dressed as princesses for the Family Retreat ball)!  I also love her for her passionate approach to prayer.  Every time Joni and Friends/Texas holds a Family Retreat, you can be sure Ellen is actively involved on the prayer team.  Best of all, she loves the Lord Jesus.  Believe me, I want to grow old as gracefully as my dear friend, Ellen, and I hope you would feel the same!


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I was inspired to share Joni 's life story with about 21 young people in the 12- 14 years age group at a Vacation children's camp last week. Bless you! 4 girls were from majority faith of my county
  • May 29, 2017
  • 1:53 a.m.
  • Sarah John
Meeting Ellen at Wounded Warrior Getaway in 2001 was a highlight for me. We bonded quickly as I shared about losing our baby who was born with Spina Bifida 30 yrs. earlier. It was like God had Ellen there to minister to me. However, when I saw her on the floor massaging the feet of one of our wounded warriors and praying at the same time, I knew I had gotten a glimpse of Jesus. I love her dearly.
  • April 19, 2017
  • 10:12 a.m.
  • Annette Spratt
I have known Ellen for 36 years, and I admire her spiritual strength and lust for life, too. I am proud to call her "friend".
  • Aug. 25, 2016
  • 8:03 p.m.
  • Janie
Ellen is a blessing to everyone she meets and an inspiration to the families who attend JAF Camp. I hope I am able to see her again next summer.
  • Aug. 25, 2016
  • 5:53 p.m.
  • Melissa Bartley
LOVE Ellen. This summer at family camp she prayed at the cross each morning and my daughter prayer with her too. She is teaching the younger generations to pray as well. My Maddie would see her and hop on her wheelchair without asking and they just wheeled all over camp together. I love her 'flare prayers'. Lovely lady loving Jesus!
  • Aug. 25, 2016
  • 12:33 p.m.
  • Stevi jones
What great pictures!😀
  • Aug. 25, 2016
  • 9:01 a.m.
  • Cathy