Midwest Regional Representative

Serving IL, IN and MI

Denise Koch


Denise Koch

Hi, my name is Denise Koch and I’m a retired letter carrier in Ottawa, Illinois. My husband, Roger, and I have two grown daughters who both live in Chicago. In 2006, our younger daughter experienced her initial flare while in high school. Within a few months, she was diagnosed with juvenile polymyositis (JPM). Due to her severe decline in health, the diagnosis was a relief and the aggressive treatment worked. She experienced a second flare while in college and the treatment brought her JPM under control once again. Despite the setbacks with her health, she was able to enjoy high school and college. My daughter is active, married, and doing very well with her career.

Everyone’s experience with juvenile myositis diseases is so very different, but as parents we all experience the devastating feelings that go along with our child falling ill. I’m hoping that my experiences with being overwhelmed, frustrated, and “wondering what I did wrong” coupled with my experiences of all the small miracles, support, and the dedication of her doctors can help me be a beneficial part of the Family Support Network for Cure JM.

Denise received the 2017 Cure JM Excellence in Advocacy Award on February 18th 2017.