“In 2017, there were 313 drunk driving fatalities in South Carolina. My daughter was one of them.”
Lisa Hagberg’s daughter, Challissah was just 26 years old and at the beginning of her life when it was tragically cut short by a drunk driver. Challissah was a loving daughter, devoted sister and loyal friend. She had a smile and energy that lit up the room and a way of making others always feel comfortable around her.
Challissah, along with her three sisters (“The Mills Girls”) were inseparable, protective, and fiercely close from childhood. She was a role model to her little brother, who shared her love of video games, scary movies, anime’, and Pokemon. Her family was her number one priority.
From childhood she loved to cook and bake with her Grandmother, who inspired her love of sharing sweets with friends and family. She had dreams of attending culinary school from a young age and wanted to open her own bakery.
Challissah was fearless in everything she did. Whether it was fighting fires, making peanut butter blossoms for her friends, rocking out in her bedroom with her little sister, or playing Beyblades on the floor with her little brother, everything she did was done to the fullest extent. During her young life she loved music, drama, dance, soccer, political causes, rescuing animals, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, but most of all her family.
Challissah had a dark and daring sense of humor. She was sarcastic, witty and naturally charming. No matter what she did, she wanted everyone to be comfortable around her. Oftentimes, she would give her last or take the least desirable option to ensure everyone’s comfort.
She cared for all things living, from animals to the elderly, earning her CNA license and graduating first in her class. She served as a CNA and spent the past few months of her life, tirelessly caring for her sick mother. She was the proud parent of four cats, who she loved as if they were her children, even taking on a second job just to feed and care for them.
She took the time to enjoy the mundane and little things in life. She noticed the things and people that most would have overlooked. She had countless friends and family that she loved unconditionally. She was a willing support system to anyone who asked, earning the title “Dr. Phil” amongst her friends, many of who turned to her for advice. Throughout her life she maintained the honesty and pure heart of a child, speaking what was on her mind and finding the good in everyone around her.
She graduated from South Florence High School in 2010 and attended Florence-Darlington Technical College, where she served as an education ambassador and was an active member of the Drama club. She wanted to one day transfer to Rutgers and had aspirations to be a chef, own a bakery, be a psychologist, or be a writer. Her light, energy, spirit and brilliance were taken from the world before she was able to live out her life’s dreams.
Challissah was active in Youth in Government and truly believed change was possible. Since her death, Lisa has begun sharing her story at schools, to law enforcement groups, to the media, and with our elected officials in order to bring about better decision making and stronger laws that can prevent future tragedies.
For Midlands Gives on May 7th, Lisa will be donating to MADD in honor of her daughter. MADD South Carolina is looking for 312 other donors to honor the other victims that year. Will you join her by going to www.midlandsgives.org/madd on May 7th?