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This post has been updated to include new information.

Imagine losing 10 years of your life. What, exactly, do you lose? If the question is theoretical, the answers come quickly:

Time with your loved ones.

Your youth.

The chance to learn and laugh and love.

The chance to live a normal life.

But what if the question is not theoretical? Imagine, for example, the magnitude of loss for the three young women in Cleveland, kidnapped a decade ago at the ages of 14, 16, and 21, and held captive in a ramshackle house owned by a man who allegedly snatched them from the natural course of their lives, subjecting them to unimaginable horrors.

By now everyone in the world knows his name. On August 1 a judge sentenced Ariel Castro to life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years, has been indicted on more than 300 charges, after Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty; he had also been charged with aggravated murder for beating one of the women after she became pregnant, forcing her to miscarry.

Imagine conceiving—and then losing—a child in that way.

One of the women did give birth; her daughter, now six-years-old, was born in captivity, and in captivity she lived, until the group’s dramatic release in May.

Imagine what these women have lost. Take your time reading the inventory:

Time with their loved ones. And, for one of them, a last goodbye and a chance to grieve for the mother who died in her absence.

Their youth.

Their innocence.

The chance to learn and laugh and love.

The chance to live a normal life.

For Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, the last 10 years were spent, not in a waking dream, like a coma patient, but in a waking nightmare of unspeakable hell.

Imagine the courage it must take to survive such torment.

Imagine their future. Can you?

Video statements posted recently on YouTube provided the women with the chance to speak publicly for the first time about their ordeal. The video also provided the world with the chance to replace the faces of their youth, seen on missing children posters and in news reports, with the faces they grew into: lovely young women, poised, on the brink of new lives, and very much in continued need for privacy as they heal and recover.

As for courage, here’s what Michelle Knight had to say in her prepared statement, included in a transcript of all three videos provided by newsnet5.com:

I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and my feet firmly on the ground.

According to published news reports, the women released their public statements so that they might thank their countless supporters, including people who have, to date, donated more than $1 million to a fund established by the Cleveland Foundation.

It is called, appropriately, the Courage Fund.

On the one hand, it seems as though there’s not enough money in the world to give back to these women what they have lost. On the other hand, with 10 years of their lives vanished, they have much work to do to begin building their futures—an education to acquire, skills to learn, and a reorientation into a world that is considerably different than it was 10 years ago.

Not to mention the healing.

I’ve made a modest donation to the Courage Fund. Would you consider doing so as well?

If you would like to contribute to the future of these young women, please make your donation through the Cleveland Courage Fund at clevelandfoundation.org\courage or by mail at Cleveland Courage Fund , c/o the Cleveland Foundation, 1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 1300, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.

Thank you.

Related article:

“Freed Captives in Cleveland Issue Messages of Resolve,” The New York Times