Jennifer Jaff, 55
On a crusade since: 2005
Day job: Executive director, Advocacy for Patients With Chronic Illness
Achievement: Obtaining insurance benefits and workplace accommodations.
Why she's a hero: Forced by Crohn's disease in 2004 to give up her career as a trial attorney, Jaff decided to share with other sufferers of chronic illness her knowledge of rights and resources. Her nonprofit helps over 1,500 patients annually, appealing denials of insurance claims and obtaining approvals for experimental treatments. Jaff's book, "Know Your Rights," is now in its fifth edition.
Quote: "Coverage of preexisting conditions is a civil rights issue if you have a chronic illness."
Editor's note: This profile originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Money magazine. Jaff died on September 14, 2012, after the issue had been printed. For more on Jaff's work, go to advocacyforpatients.org.
When lives were disrupted by flood or fire, these MONEY heroes jumped in to help rescue their neighbors' finances.