HISTORY OF SCAGO
The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) started on June 14th, 2005, as the Seed of Life Philanthropic Organization (SOLPO). It was created in loving memory of a brave young man—Sunday Afolabi—who succumbed to complications from sickle cell disease (SCD) in October 1999.
SCAGO was established by the founders of All Naturals Cosmetics Inc, Lanre and Timothy Tunji-Ajayi, as a way to support the marginalized in the communities where they do business.
To ensure we do not forget how it all began, we’ve showcased the three board members that supported Timothy and Lanre when the organization first started in 2005.
To read about our key achievements and milestones over these years click here.
Norma Allison Campbell- SOLPO’s first Vice-President
In 2005, Lanre from All Naturals Cosmetics Inc wanted to give back to the community. She presented me with the idea of helping to raise funds for various diseases, starting with sickle cell. She spoke with such passion and conviction that I knew there was no turning back. I have seen the then-established Seed of Life Philanthropic Organization Inc (SOLPO) go from one meeting to the next, one awareness and training session to the next.
The organization is now fully focused on sickle cell disease and is now known as the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO). It has become a very recognized agency supporting persons with sickle cell disease in Ontario.
Lanre and the first board established a strong foundation, working long hours, and we are proud of what they continue to accomplish.
Moni Williams- SOLPO’s first Secretary
As the very first secretary of SOLPO, now SCAGO, I joined during its inception in 2005 and served in this capacity until 2009. I was involved in the different activities that laid the foundation for the organization: writing the by-laws, defining organizational goals, and planning events. Having been touched personally by sickle cell disease, I am driven by the thought that pending the time a cure would be found, all that can be done to create awareness of the disease and the means of preventing it. Nothing is too little to contribute; all hands must be on deck to spread the word. Starting with one’s immediate environment, everyone needs to educate their spouse, children, friends, and neighbours who are susceptible to sickle cell disease. Prevention, they say, is better than cure!
Hadijat Lawson- SOLPO’s first Treasurer
A pioneering member, I served SOLPO as its treasurer from 2005 to 2010.
On May 25, 2013, Hadijat was recognized for her contributions toward SCAGO and was awarded the Community Award of Excellence for contributing to the advancements in sickle cell disease in Ontario.
She continues to advocate for the prevention of new sickle cell disease births by educating various associations in the Nigerian community, including the Nigerian Canadian Muslim Association, on getting tested for sickle cell trait (SCT). In addition, Hadijat continues to support SCAGO’s fundraising goals.