Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the escape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight from their decade-plus time in captivity.
Today, on the eve of the anniversary, Berry and DeJesus released statements thanking the public for all their support.
Statement from Amanda Berry on the one-year anniversary of her escape:
I would like to thank all the people who have helped and supported my family and me. You have changed our lives in ways you'll never know.
On this day, we decided that the right place for us to be was with other families who have gone through what our family has gone through. I want these families to know they will always have a special place in our hearts.
So much has happened this past year. I have grown. I am strong. And I have so much to live for, to look forward to. The future is bright.
Statement from Gina DeJesus on the one-year anniversary of her escape:
I want to thank everyone who donated to the Courage Fund and sent gifts to me. You have made such a difference in my life. This past year has been amazing, full of healing and hope. I am spending time with my family and working with Amanda on a book that we are really excited about. I have also been enjoying new experiences, such as learning how to use new technology and how to drive. Thanks for continuing to respect my privacy and that of my family.
Michelle Knight, now going by the name Lili Rose Lee, says she forgives Castro and is moving on with her life.
All three women will receive money through the Courage Fund that now has $1.4 million dollars. They are very appreciative of the support and continue to ask for privacy so they can live a normal life.
Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from a Seymour Ave. home in Cleveland last year where they had been held captive for about 10 years and subjected to horrific abuse. DeJesus went missing when she was 14 back in 2004, Berry was 16 when she was captured in 2003, and Knight was 21 when she disappeared in 2002.
Tuesday evening, May 6, Amanda and Gina will be among those being honored at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's HOPE Awards in Washington, DC.
Berry and DeJesus, who were teens when they were captured, will be honored for their courage and resilience and for giving hope to families still searching for their missing children.
Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.