The founding story of the Paula Ford-Martin Memorial Fund
Paula Ford-Martin was an accomplished writer and editor who passed away on March 25, 2020 after five years with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She was humble about her endless achievements, but she took most pride in her role as a mother and as an advocate. Paula demonstrated nothing but love and support for all four of her children (two are transgender, three are gay, and all are fierce advocates). Despite the advancing metastases in her brain, Paula always strived to educate herself and the people around her in the way of kindness and tolerance. She pored over endless literature about LGBTQ+ issues and became deeply involved with advocacy groups serving queer and gender-nonconforming teens. Her kind heart and passion for writing always motivated her to fight for human rights and equality, no matter what she was facing in her own life.
In a letter outlining her final wishes, Paula stated that her greatest desire is “an LGBTQ+ scholarship to reward those students that have gone above and beyond to bring awareness and equality to their school and community.” Thanks to the generous support of all those who loved her, that dream became a reality overnight. By the end of March, the fund had already raised nearly $10,000. Paula’s son Cas, a proud trans man and nonprofit professional, established the Paula Ford-Martin Memorial Fund as a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to ensure that his mother will continue to transform the lives of LGBTQA+ youth for many years to come.