As a patient advocate for the Americans for Cures Foundation, Monica Johnson has a particularly personal connection to the work she does. At age 3, Monica was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – the most common type of arthritis in children – which caused her immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s tissues, resulting in inflammation in joints and severe pain.

"It was hard growing up and not being able to play sports, run,” said Monica. “But kids today, they get to do that, because of the innovative treatments and the biologics that are available to them," Monica said, as she stressed the importance of ongoing innovation.

Monica also shared her perspective on the important role that the science and research community has played in her life, and continues to play in the lives of all of those suffering. “To me, the researchers and the scientists are wonderful creatures of life…they are my miracle workers.”