Jenn Gibbons rowed home into Chicago, determined to complete her 1,500 mile trip around Lake Michigan despite being sexually assaulted on the trip almost a month ago.
Gibbons attempted to control her emotions on arrival on Tuesday, but, when she saw her supporters including the cancer survivors she made the trip for cheering for her on the shore, she couldn’t control herself, reports CBS News.
The 27-year-old recalled seeing Recovery on Water (ROW), the rowing team she co-founded for breast cancer survivors, which promotes exercising to reduce the change of reoccurance, cheering her on from the shore, stating:
“I was smiling, then I was happy, then I started crying when I saw the team.”
Despite the horrific attack that took place aboard her boat in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula almost a month ago, Jenn Gibbons has said that she feels no lingering bitterness over the incident,and that she believes investigators will find her rapist. She added, “I still believe that there are a lot more good people in the world than bad.”
Gibbons, armed with her boat and her motto, “You’ve got this,” helped to raise $113,000, which members of ROW will use to raise awareness as well as to purchase more boats. The Detroit News notes that, after the assault, Jenn Gibbons docked her boat for close to a week while she spoke with investigators about the incident.
In order to make up for lost time, the 27-year-old rower biked nearly 500 miles, surrounded by a small group of friends and supporters. After she completed her trip on Tuesday, Gibbons acknowledged that the has a lot of healing left to go and she hasn’t fully come to terms with the idea of becoming a spokeswoman for sexual assault victims. She has stated that she may write a book to help her with the process. Jenn Gibbons stated:
“I’ve been an advocate for exercise and breast cancer for years, I feel very comfortable being that person. This is talking about something I don’t necessarily know how to talk about yet. It’s really hard to share all of the really good things and all of the really bad things that happened because you open yourself up, and you are extremely vulnerable to what people are going to think about you. I have a lot of healing to do, a lot of things I need to dig into.”
Congratulations to Jenn Gibbons for finishing her 1,500 mile journey despite her terrifying sexual assault.