On August 31, 2004, William E. Proudford passed away of complications of kidney disease resulting from diabetes. Mr. Proudford also suffered from sickle cell disease (SCD), Paget’s disease and profound hearing loss. Because of the unique challenges they encountered in understanding and getting adequate treatment for his sickle cell disease, his family started an effort to raise awareness about the disease. In October, 2005, the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, Inc. (WEPSCF) was incorporated in Delaware as a non-profit organization. The organization received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in March, 2006. The Proudford family donated $5,000 to start the Fund, and immediately began building partnerships with area organizations such as Mjach Designs, Baltimore, who developed the organization’s logo, Dreamhaus Media LLC, Dallas, who designed the organization’s original website, and Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., who provided legal assistance.