Happy Mother's Day!

  • By: Tracey Motoda
  • May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day! Today, we’re sharing a special post from Tracey, a beloved employee at Joni and Friends. And as someone who was born with a disability, Tracey is truly thankful for the gift of a loving mother!

God blessed me with the tremendous gift of growing up in a close-knit, loving family. I am so grateful to have been given such wonderful parents. As we spend this week honoring the mothers in our lives, I am thrilled to share with you about my own mom – someone incredibly special!

For my mom, raising a daughter with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) must have been incredibly challenging. It was certainly not the life she had expected before she found out I was born with SMA, a progressive neuromuscular disorder. As an infant, my mom had to watch me go through grueling tests, until, at the age of 18 months, I was diagnosed with SMA. By the time I was in kindergarten, I couldn’t walk well enough to keep up with my peers and my parents, along with my doctors, decided it was time for my first power wheelchair.

I often reflect on what those first few years must have been like for my mom… all the uncertainty and newness to contend with. But through whatever difficulties my disability presented, my mom parented me with an incredible amount of love and grace.


  • was my fiercest advocate to ensure that all my needs were met at school.
  • made sure I had the best doctors and medical care possible.
  • proactively parented me to become an independent and mature adult.
  • supported all my goals and fostered my interests.
  • never discouraged me from learning my own limitations.
  • taught me that my disability was not an accident and that God has a plan for me!

This picture was taken on my wedding day in 2008. It is so special to me because it symbolizes my mom releasing the reigns of my care after 28 years of stewarding not only my physical health, but also my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. At my wedding, she could confidently “give me away” because she had raised me in a way that prepared me for the next season of life. Over the last ten years, I have come to an even deeper appreciation for the love and guidance my mom provided, and the intentionality in which she and my dad raised me.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!


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Tracey is my cousin, and even though I’m, ahem, a lot older than Tracey, I can say I watched her grow up with two of the best people I know; her parents. Tracey was born in to an extended family that loves big, plays big, and just is big, and we all love her so much! Thanks for sharing your special words with all of us, Tracey!
  • May 14, 2018
  • 5:36 p.m.
  • Connie Whitmire
Tracey and her mom are the best!!! They were great examples of what a mother and daughter should be and still are! I am glad to call them friends who are like family!
  • May 13, 2018
  • 8:18 p.m.
  • Tina Gift
Absolutely Beautiful!!
  • May 13, 2018
  • 2:18 p.m.
  • Jennifer Gonzalez
Tracey truly was blessed with special parents; but she herself is an incredible woman! Smart, kind, funny, and loving to all. Our family in Oregon love her so much and her loving husband!
  • May 13, 2018
  • 9:58 a.m.
  • Joyce Powell Morin