William E. Proudford was a devoted family man, colleague, and friend who led by example, shared his joy, but never his sorrows; did not raise his voice above a whisper, and yet spoke with conviction. His calm nature and strong character brought out the best in every person he encountered.
He had a love for learning all of his life and set an example of consistently searching for opportunities to enhance his personal development. While in the Air Force, he obtained his GED, became fluent in German and even took a course in Russian. After completing 24 years of service in the Air Force, he excelled at Delaware State College, graduating summa cum laude and earning membership in the top honor societies. An avid reader and fast learner, he went on to earn a Master’s degree and to learn new skills throughout his life.
Despite a number of physical challenges, including sickle cell disease, progressive and profound hearing loss, diabetes and kidney failure, he always maintained the quiet, unassuming and steady manner that made him the bedrock of his family.
A World Without Sickle Cell Disease
To support sickle cell awareness, education, state-of-the-art treatment and research, and to bring hope to families affected by this devastating disease.
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.