Jessica and Christopher Daffern, of Texarkana, Arkansas, recently established the Chandler Michelle Daffern Memorial Endowed Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. The endowment was established to honor the memory of their late, newborn daughter, Chandler Michelle Daffern, who they lost to Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia on August 26, 2017. Chandler was diagnosed with the condition after birth. “Chandler still holds a special place in our hearts and made a big impact on our lives, so it’s important for us to honor her,” said Jessica.
The scholarship gives preference to single mothers who are seeking a degree in a health professions field. “We hope to help someone accomplish their goal in the medical field in the hope that they go on to do amazing things to provide love, care, and support for families in devastating situations such as ours,” said Jessica. “We are delighted that we were able to endow the scholarship so quickly. The scholarship began as an annual scholarship less than one year ago, but through funds we raised, the help of family and friends, and a generous matching gift from Firestone, we were able to make it an endowment.”
“I am a student at U of A Texarkana, and I have had a great experience here,” said Jessica. “I was taking classes throughout my pregnancy until the birth of Chandler. Mrs. Loni Taylor and Ms. Lynnlee Vance went above and beyond in helping me with my schoolwork and to ensure that I finished before Chandler was born. I am so very grateful for them. For these reasons and many others, we chose to establish this endowment at U of A Texarkana.”
As a result of the tragedy, the Daffern’s have also partnered with the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, to proclaim the month of April as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Month. “Thanks to the establishment of the scholarship and the proclamation of the city, our daughter’s legacy will live on forever,” said Christopher.
For more information about scholarships at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, call Anna Powell at 870-722-8516.