See you in Heaven, Cathe!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 7, 2013
  • Joni's Posts

Joni, Ken, and CatheI treasure my friendships with quadriplegics across the country – each one inspires me with their perseverance and patience, as well as their love for Jesus. Cathe Chermesino was one of my special quad-friends. I met her years ago when she was 13 years old, right after the accident in which she became paralyzed (below is her testimony). Recently, pneumonia got the best of my friend and she is now home in heaven. But I think you will see from her story, she is still an inspiration to us all!


On November 19, 1991, Cathe Chermesino was running down South Street, trying to make it to Calvary Baptist School before the late bell rang. On the surface she had it all. She was a beautiful, talented thirteen-year-old who possessed YMCA swimming medals, not to mention a beautiful singing voice. When she ran across the street, she was hit by a fast-moving car and thrown into the air. Immediately Cathe became totally paralyzed.

Cathe now goes to school sitting rigid and upright in a bulky wheelchair. She breathes through a ventilator and has to carefully mouth her words so others can lip-read.

On the first anniversary of her accident, she gave her testimony at her church. “I’m like the potter’s clay,” she said. “I’m being reshaped into something that I believe will be far better. What looks harmful for me will actually turn out to be good. Before the accident I was an awful snob, but now God has given me an inner peace. I’m giving my voice a rest until I get to heaven.”

Her mother looked lovingly at her daughter and added, “Cathe needs just two things to make it through. A lot of prayer and a little bit of oxygen.”

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Ms Joni I remember reading your story as a young girl when accepted Christ from Hindu (Indian) family and no guidance from my dear ones. I couldn't imagine going through what you went through. but one sentence from your biography is all time inspiration for me when ever I go through situations which seem to be so struggling is "God knows my condition". Of all difficult times my husband and me went through things by looking at which people always told us leave Christ (they believe Christ is reason for our difficulties) that sentence shaped me into what we are in God! I will always remember reading your story thanks for your ministry and God bless you... Today I even encourage so many by mentioning about you... You are such an encouragement for us..
  • Nov. 19, 2017
  • 2:36 a.m.
  • Sudha
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Cathe. It reminds me of when my classmate Lauren went home to heaven, aged 13, back in 2006, but the way she died was one of the most lovely ways you could imagine. The day she died, she was laughing and laughing. Her last words were "I can see Jesus!" She couldn't eat or walk at all on this earth. I know she is a lot happier now! I can't wait til the day when we will all be leaping for joy & singing to Jesus to our hearts content! :-) God bless you Joni! :-)
  • May 8, 2013
  • 1:23 a.m.
  • Chessie
What a thrilling testimony of what The Lord God can and will do in the lives of those He saves. A great example to all who desire a godly life. Thank you Joni. Nancy Vercammen
  • May 7, 2013
  • 6:36 p.m.
  • Nancy Vercammen
Dear Cathe, You are singing now! Thank you for sharing your story.
  • May 7, 2013
  • 4:18 p.m.
  • Lynn
Dear Joni, Thank you for sharing the testimony of Cathe with us.It remembers me to focus on heaven as our final destination.We are travelling through time and space to enter into heaven finally where we will see Jesus.What happiness and joy await us!
  • May 7, 2013
  • 3:13 p.m.
  • San
Thank you for sharing these stories...they keep reality in front of us. This is not our home. God, thank You for Cathe's life. Thank You for how I know You will minister to her family and friends like Joni and Ken. Amen.
  • May 7, 2013
  • 12:54 p.m.
  • Annie Atkinson
What an inspirational story. I have so much to be thankful for.
  • May 7, 2013
  • 12:40 p.m.
  • Charlotte Gulley
I remember reading your story as a young girl joni! I couldn't imagine going through what you went through. but having gone through all you did, you wouldn't be who you are today! all of us go through things big or small that shape us into what we are in God! I will always remember reading your story and crying out to God wanting to know why things happen to certain people! thanks for your ministry and God bless!
  • May 7, 2013
  • 12:27 p.m.
  • cathie
Awesome!!!! Totally Awesome! When I read stories like this, it makes me so grateful for what I have; I can do most anything....yes, I do have painful joints, but I am very thankful to my Jesus! He gives me challenges, but he also gives me the strength to meet those challenges head on!
  • May 7, 2013
  • 12:07 p.m.
  • Ellen
What a precious girl. Thanks for sharing Joni. Another dear one to look forward to meeting in Heaven. I am asking the Lord for a pain free day for you Joni.
  • May 7, 2013
  • 11:53 a.m.
  • Theresa Schwartz
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