Much like Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard has endured a type of hell none of us could ever imagine.
And last night, she took to the stage for the first time and spoke out how her mother’s unwavering support gave her hope in her darkest moments.
The 31-year-old, who was kidnapped at age 11 and held prisoner for 18 years, was honored with the Inspiration Award at Diane von Furstenberg’s DVF Awards at the United Nations.
Upon receiving the award, she said: “My name is Jaycee Dugard, and I want to say that because for a long time I wasn’t able to say my name and so it feels good.
“I am truly honored to be here tonight with these amazing women who have done and been through so much more than me.”
Jaycee, who has two children fathered by her kidnapper, spoke of how she got through her harrowing ordeal.
“I have to say I felt her hope for many years and it gave me the strength to go on and live. And I did live. I have two beautiful daughters who I love with all my heart.”
She also spoke about her JAYC Foundation that helps families recovering from abduction, saying: ”My hope is to be remembered for what I do, not to what happened to me.”
Oprah, who was honored with Lifetime Leadership award said of Jaycee: ”I am so proud of you. You are using your courage and your strength and your power to show the world that you care.”
What an extraordinary woman Jaycee is.