Propp learned about advocacy and pride while growing up in Berkeley interacting with the large Deaf Community. She learned American Sign Language (ASL) in elementary school, and became a certified sign language interpreter and Deaf advocate. In 1997 Propp was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, Essential Mixed Cryoglobulinemia. In 1999 Propp was given plasmapheresis to save her life; she spent three hours at the hospital, two to three days a week for seven years.
Propp views illness, treatments and disability as just another part of her body and life, a part that she has to deal with on a daily basis. It is this straightforward assertive attitude that enabled her to obtain her M.A. in 2001 and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology in 2005, while on chronic plasmapheresis. Her dissertation, Exploring Experiences of Employed Women on Chronic Therapeutic Apheresis: A Case for Organizational Learning and Diversity represents her desire to learn, grow while helping others.