It’s been eleven days since Mother’s Day, and I’m still a little shaken up. This was the first year I couldn’t send my mom a card or flowers (I don’t think they have ZIP codes in Heaven). My brother and stepfather spent the day at my house to trade stories about our dear Paula, celebrating her day as best as we could without her physical presence. Our heavy hearts are with all those other families who spent that Sunday without a mother; especially those affected by illness.

When times get tough, I cope the same way my mom did: I write. I recently posted a short piece on Paula’s blog, Living With Stage IV, about the ways she continues to inspire and strengthen me from beyond this world. The main takeaway is that Paula turned her struggles into strengths, drawing empowerment from hardship to help others that might be going through the same thing. As difficult as it may be to face life without my mom, I know that it is only right to move forward with this same attitude of service.

With all of this in mind, I feel honored and humbled to announce that the Paula Ford-Martin Memorial Fund has officially been established as a registered charitable organization in the State of Connecticut. Paula’s primary wish was to establish a scholarship fund for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies who demonstrate (1) outstanding commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, and (2) firm plans to attend a college/university, vocational training, or any other substantive educational program. By creating a nonprofit organization in Paula’s honor to achieve her goal, we will be able to support countless students for many years to come. Our website (paulafordmartin.org) contains additional information about our nonprofit status, our mission, and the state of our fundraising efforts. You can also check out our new “Legacy” page for updates on the nonprofit’s activities.

We expect a 501(c)(3) approval from the IRS by the end of 2020. The organization will function solely as a scholarship fund to start. However, with time and growing visibility, we look forward to expanding our offerings to secure housing, health care, and legal services for LGBTQ+ youth. Paula’s legacy will undoubtedly transform the lives of countless children, and her family is dedicated to its endurance for generations to come.

In light of Paula’s passing, her new Memorial Fund, and Wordcrafts’ transitional period, I am eager to revitalize this business through a renewed commitment to the nonprofit sector. Wordcrafts has long served 501(c)(3) organizations, from JDRF to NAfME. Now, at this critical precipice of COVID-19, I am pleased to announce that Wordcrafts is expanding its offerings to include grant writing, research, and general consulting support for current and prospective nonprofit organizations. All Wordcrafts writing and editing services will also now be offered at a sliding payment scale to ensure their accessibility to all.

Our website will also be undergoing some big changes over the next few weeks. Keep checking back for updates, and as always, please feel free to contact us with any inquiries. Again, I feel so honored to carry on Paula’s commitment to providing friendly, high-quality communication services for all. Thank you for reading, and for visiting Wordcrafts.

Wordcrafts founder Paula Ford-Martin passed away on March 25, 2020 after more than five years enduring stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC). She never liked to call MBC a “battle” or a “war,” since that implies she had a chance of winning the unwinnable — beating an incurable disease. She passed peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, just as she wished. 

Despite her illness, Paula never stopped writing. When her rigorous cancer treatment and growing brain metastases forced her into a multi-year hiatus from Wordcrafts, she started a blog, “Living With Stage IV,” to remain connected with readers around the world. All the while, Paula nurtured my (her son, Cas) love of language, providing me with the tools and knowledge I needed to take over her business. With my mother’s guidance and encouragement, I cultivated my own freelance career, drawing on my experience as an educator in addition to her work in the health industry. Paula instilled in me the belief that words have power, and as writers, we have the unique opportunity — and obligation — to lift those voices that have been silenced by discrimination. 

It is impossible to fill the shoes that my mother left: she was a giant among giants in the medical communications community, and her talent as an author was second to none. Nevertheless, I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be taking over her role as Owner & Operator of Wordcrafts. My mother was an advocate above all else: for the sick, the poor, and all those facing prejudice. She always aimed to help those most in need with their communication goals. With Paula’s memory in mind, I hope to increase our capacity for advocacy by expanding Wordcrafts services to include the education and nonprofit sectors.

Our family is taking care to ensure that all of Paula’s final wishes are respected. A memorial scholarship for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies was established in her name to honor her incredible life as a mother and advocate of trans children. Paula wanted nothing more than for her legacy to support not just her own family, but all those who face discrimination, illness, or hardship. Prior to her death, she requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Paula Ford-Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund — or to Metavivor, the only organization exclusively dedicated to MBC research.

 

Paula’s family welcomes any communication regarding Paula’s legacy via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Her obituary can be accessed at this link (or via tinyurl.com/paulafordmartin). 

It's been a while since I posted a blog update, so I thought I'd pop in and do just that. I am currently on a long-term hiatus from offering my professional services in writing, editing, video production, and content management. However, I will continue to maintain this site and its corresponding Facebook and Twitter accounts. I also encourage you to visit my blog at Living with Stage IV to read about living with, and in spite of, stage IV breast cancer. Thanks for coming by!