July 8, 2011 — -- Jaycee Dugard wears around her neck the small symbol of a pinecone. The prickly, sticky object was the last piece of freedom she grasped when Phillip and Nancy Garrido kidnapped her.
"Back then [the pinecone] was the last thing I touched...Now, it's a symbol of hope and new beginnings. And that...there is life after something tragic," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
Part of her new beginning involves the creation of the JAYC Foundation which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care. Dugard wants to help other families like hers, families impacted by abduction.
The foundation will use animal-assisted therapy, along with other support services to treat families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences. Dugard will also use the foundation to help facilitate awareness in schools about the important need to care for one another.
Since she and her daughters were freed from the Garridos in 2009, Dugard has spent the last two years healing, learning to speak up for herself and enjoying firsts: like getting her driver's license, taking her daughters to school, simply having family dinners around a table. With the help of family unification therapist Rebecca Bailey and the Transitioning Families team, Dugard and her daughters have worked hard to free themselves from years of manipulation. The therapy includes a unique horse therapy. Just as important as her healing process, is the healing of her family too—her mother who held hope for 18 years that she'd see Dugard again, her sister who was just a baby when she was abducted.
Portions of the proceeds from Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, will go to the JAYC Foundation. The foundation is also selling necklaces with the same pinecone charm that means so much to Dugard. A share of the proceeds from the necklace sales will also go to the foundation. You can purchase a necklace or make a donation to the foundation by going to the its web site.