The Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Oregon, Inc. was founded by Pastor Marcia Taylor in 1981 in order to advance treatment protocols, life expectancy, quality of life, and medical advocacy of patients and families with Sickle Cell Disease. Due to a deep conviction that the lives of sickle cell patients could be improved and even saved, Pastor Taylor set out on a personal journey of advocacy, education, and community outreach for the Sickle Cell Disease community of medical staff, families, and patients.
Her journey was decades in the making, as The Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Oregon was founded in honor of Ramona Taylor (above), the late daughter of Pastor Marcia Taylor, Executive Director and CEO. Ramona was a spirited woman with a personality that added light and energy to any room she entered. A natural people person, Ramona held a deep love of people and an acute awareness to those suffering or in distress. Despite her own pain, fatigue, complications, and challenges with Sickle Cell Disease, Ramona was a tireless advocate. She fought for people who felt unheard or misunderstood such as teens who were bullied, loners who were unable to make friends easily, and even foster children needing a forever home. Ramona’s love of people was so extensive until she opted to expand her own family beyond her only daughter and adopt a foster child into her home.
Due to many of the very issues that Pastor Taylor fights against; lack of trust between patient and medical staff, antiquated medical protocols, ignorance or intolerance of how to effectively treat pain, and lack of diligent care, Ramona passed away at 36 years old.
Pastor Taylor and SCAFO are dedicated to continuing the legacy and work of Ramona Taylor. The work of SCAFO is embraced by the entire Taylor family, especially, her son Clifford, and daughter Maria. As with siblings of all ill children, Clifford and Maria sacrificed much of their own childhood experiences in pursuit of optimal care for Ramona. Their love for Ramona and their mother is the driving force for advocacy and change for which SCAFO has become known. The Taylors are committed to ensuring that other parents are not prematurely forced to say goodbye to their loved one due to lack of understanding of how to manage and treat Sickle Cell patients. Like her daughter, Pastor Taylor fights to improve medical care in emergency rooms and on hospital wards where Sickle Cell patients are treated. She also holds telethons, workshops, and seminars to advance knowledge & treatment, and, to provide a place to fellowship for the Sickle Cell Community.
Due to the tireless efforts of the Taylors, Oregon began testing for sickle cell trait and disease.
SCAFO has clients and partners in Oregon, WA, Alaska, and Idaho.
The Sickle Cell Foundation is proud to honor Ramona Taylor through a focus on education, community, early testing and diagnosis, and dissemination of sickle cell educational materials. We continue to advance Ramona’s story through radio, television, newsletters, social media, and focus groups. Our greatest honor is to be called to serve for over 35 years in the very location that patients like Ramona are in greatest need, the hospital wards and emergency rooms, ensuring that patients receive fair, rapid, and appropriate treatment. Ramona’s spirit resides in every measure of the work we do and our unwavering commitment to improve the quality of life of those who live with sickle cell challenges daily.