Not enough male victims come forward about sexual abuse and violence, so we listen to the voices of women for guidance.
“To encourage people, boys and girls, to come forward about sexual abuse and violence.”
Life can knock you sometimes—so far down that you convince yourself you can’t get back up. Life can try to steal from you ad take away everything you own. You wait for the sun to rise, but it doesn’t come. So, you make the decision to pick up the pieces of whatever is left and do something about it.
An 18-year-old girl simply known as Lena looks normal in the video above. She wears jeans, a T-shirt and jewelry—and has what many would call a tomboy haircut. If you peel back her layers, however, you’ll find a survivor.
Lena has been a victim of sexual and domestic abuse while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma—an aggressive form of cancer. When she was recently given the opportunity to fulfill a dream by The Make-A-Wish Foundation, she didn’t ask for the typical trip to Disney World, a car or anything a teenager would normally ask for.
Instead, she rounded up her two best friends—Peach and Mariah—and asked for a photo shoot done by a professional photographer and an article in a magazine to raise awareness about how she has dealt with cancer–and how her journey led her to open up about her abusive childhood with her younger sister and brother.
In the video shown above, Lena recalls that her father has had a long-standing history of being abusive, and that he “could even find a way to abuse us in front of people without anybody noticing.” She then reveals that both Peach and Mariah were also sexually and domestically abused by separate individuals, which gives way to the two girls sharing their experiences in the video as well.
The camera pans to a wide view of what looks to be Lena’s bedroom, but is actually a one-room complex where she and her siblings stay with their mother. Lena explains that the space was given to them, so they could “stay close to the hospital”, assumingly where her cancer can be treated.
She offers a comment about her condition that paints an entire picture: “When I was diagnosed was cancer, I really didn’t think much about it. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me, and from everything I’ve been through, I’ve gotten to the point where it’s like, ‘It happened. So what?’
This girl is not only the picture of strength, but she’s also a guardian angel on Earth—carrying out a message of hope and goodness. So, I’ll leave you with this: What would you do if you had one wish?