Graci is 11-years-old and stands just five feet tall. But don’t let her age and size fool you. She’s wiser than most and has the stature of a superstar.
Graci has battled juvenile polyarticular arthritis for most of her life. As a member of our Advocate program, she has been very active fighting on behalf of people with arthritis.
In March, she and her mom, Anna, attended Advocacy Summit where they were trained on advocacy and met with members of Congress, asking them to support legislation that will address the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists, and establish a dedicated Department of Defense arthritis research fund to address the unusually high occurrence of arthritis in the US Military.
You might think this is a lot for a young girl, but Graci was just getting started.
After returning home from Summit, Graci told her mom, “There are 5,000 kids in Missouri who have juvenile arthritis. I want to be the person to advocate for them, like you advocate for me.”
Graci got involved with local advocacy efforts in Missouri to pass legislation that would put limits on the insurance industry practice known as Step Therapy. She testified before members of the Senate and, with the governor’s signature, the bill became law.
She also participated in the St. Louis Walk to Cure Arthritis and plans to participate in the upcoming Jingle Bell Run. She has already raised more than $2,000 in support of our mission to conquer and cure arthritis.
Now comes the best part.
The Arthritis Foundation organized an interview opportunity for Graci and Anna. They appeared on the June 26 edition of the CBS television show, Sunday Morning. Interviewed by Erin Moriarity, they talked about the expense of medications and the benefits Graci has experienced because of them.
Watch the CBS Sunday Morning Segment Below:
“We’re very proud of her,” said Anna. “We can’t wait to see what she does in the future, because we know it will be fantastic.”
Become an Arthritis Foundation Advocate:
You too can be a Foundation Advocate. We can’t promise you’ll end up a television star like Graci, but you will be part of a community and movement that is making real and impactful changes in the lives of people with arthritis.
Join our Advocate program to start your journey!
- CBS Sunday Morning: The Cost of Miracles
- Empowered Advocates of All Ages Share Their Stories at the Advocacy Summit
- Go, Go, Go Graci! Graci Diggs Named 2015 National Youth Honoree for Jingle Bell Run/Walk