Parents of Andrya DeGhelder announce a scholarship in her name

Parents of Andrya DeGhelder announce a scholarship in her name

GROVETOWN, GA (WFXG) - Andrya DeGhelder, a Grovetown mother, was murdered in her own home back in July. Her body was found in a dumpster behind the Grovetown Walmart days later.

Friday, for the first time, her parents spoke to the media from DeGhelder's Columbia County home in the Ivy Falls subdivision. FOX 54's Jasmine Anderson reports how they say they're turning the tragedy into a positive opportunity for college students.

Mother, daughter, scientist -- all words describe Andrya DeGhelder. Now, Augusta University students will know her as a giver.

"Andrya always wanted to help others and this way she can fulfill her dreams, if not personally, then through the education of others," said Donna Morrison, DeGhelder's mother.

Nearly two weeks after laying their daughter to rest, the 39-year-old's parents are back where she was killed. Her family wants her legacy to live on through her research and a scholarship the family's creating in her name. Students who receive that scholarship would attend classes in Augusta University's Health Sciences Building.

Her mother said she worked toward her education despite trials with aplastic anemia - a rare medical condition - and becoming a mother to her only son, Kellan. Before her life was brutally cut short, she began working towards a cure for blood disorders because of her own battle.

DeGhelder's mother said, "She was very, very strong in her will to get educated to do this. She went through it the hard way. We didn't have the money to send her to school and she did it all on her own."

A scholarship is now being created in her name for Augusta University for Clinical Laboratory Science Master's program to help future researchers. 
The ultimate goal is for donations to surpass $25,000 for that scholarship.

A longtime family friend told FOX 54, one of the doctors DeGhelder worked with is applying for grants right now to continue the research she started.

Columbia County Sheriff's Office investigators are still working to solve her murder. Her neighbor, Christopher Gibson, has been named as a person of interest in the case.

Donna and Weldon Morrison read the following statement:

"We first want to thank the community for the way they came together in support of us during this tragic time. Everyone has been so very wonderful.

Augusta University released the following statement:

“We are honored that the family chose to create this legacy for Andrya. We are humbled to work with them to bring something positive out of such a tragic circumstance. The Andrya DeGhelder Memorial Scholarship will exist in perpetuity, and allow students with a passion for Clinical Lab Sciences to attend Augusta University and keep Andrya’s memory alive through their academics and careers.”

Mike Kessler, Interim Vice President for Development in the Office of Advancement at Augusta University

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