Joanna Marie Demas was born August 1, 1961 in Chicago, Illinois to Lily Anagnostou Demas and Dr. Theodore Demas. Her mother was an opera singer while her father practiced medicine. She lived in the Chicago area where she skipped kindergarten and started school as a first grader. In 1971 she moved with her family to Lake City, Florida. Joanna excelled in school where she attended Columbia High School. She maintained excellent grades-she was a National Merit Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated high school in 1978 and then went on to the University of Florida where she majored in Chemistry. She graduated from there in 1980 and then attended the University of Miami Medical School where she met her first husband. They would later move to Columbus, Ohio where they both practiced medicine. She and her first husband would later divorce when she became unhappy with her marriage.
Her father wanted all his children to be doctors but Joanna was the only one to realize that dream. She would often treat the uninsured and needy and advocated for the use of medical marijuana before the Ohio State Legislature. She also loved animals and was a vegetarian.
Medicine wasn't her first love. She wanted to act and be a musician. She even had a small role in an independent film in which she played a waitress that was fascinated with guns called My New Advisor by Jim Bihari. She also did some "babe" photography for photographer D. R . Goff and appeared in a Stacked and Packed G. Gordon Liddy calendar. She also appeared in two issues of Playboy in 1992-the first doctor to ever do so. It caused quite a stir at the time!
Joanna loved rock music and frequented the various rock and roll venues around Columbus where she became friendly with quite a few of the band members who played at them. In 1995 she met Pete Way, bassist for the English hard rock band UFO. They would later marry in 1996 and stayed married until her untimely death in 2000 from a drug overdose.