I’m answering the questions this week - community manager, Alice Jones. I’ve been part of the team in Wellington since May 2014 and our founder/CEO Siobhan first came to know me as a patient through social media.

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Outline your journey to Melon Health.

I allowed my diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis at age 15 to negatively affect my study and career prospects for several years. I worked a variety of jobs and gained experience in a range of industries, but even once my symptoms were under control I wasn’t sure I was ever going to have a job I loved. I had become involved in advocacy work for young people with arthritis, and posted videos about my experience on YouTube - one of which Siobhan discovered, and reached out to me. I became Community Manager about a year later.

I’m passionate about good health because…

I’d experienced severe pain and poor health throughout my adolescence. An effective medication I began in my early 20s gave me the chance to lead a pain-free life again, and that gave me the motivation to improve all aspects of my well being. I care about good health, and especially good healthcare.

Please, ask me about…

Young people with arthritis, particularly young women with Ankylosing Spondylitis. My cat, Wallace. What art I’m working on at the moment. Where to find great coffee in Kansas City…

What’s the wallpaper on your cellphone?

One of my own drawings. I find keeping a drawing in sight for a few days after I think it’s finished is a good way to keep critiquing my own work, and notice anything I need to go back to fix.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

I believe I wanted to be a writer around that time. I would spend a LOT of my spare time reading and probably not enough time writing for that to have ever become a reality!