Dana Leisegang
In 1990, Dana Leisegang was a 19-year old mechanic in the U.S. Navy. She was proud of the fact that she was showing the world that she was equal to the men around her in the male-dominated military establishment. But male insecurity and rage struck back viciously when a fellow sailor beat her and raped her then threw her over a 7-story cliff to certain death.
But she would not die! When she was found, her neck was broken and her skull shattered, but she was alive. The paralysis from her injuries was so severe that she even lost her ability to breathe. Her journey from anger and the need for revenge was a long and painful one, but eventually she found a way to release them and opened herself to experience the healing power of forgiveness. In the past 23 years, she has recovered from many of her injuries including the ability to partially walk.
Dana states, "I've come to know it was God's plan and a gift for me. Through it I have learned I'm much more than my physical body, that it's ok to be a woman, and the greatest gift of all I have learned how to forgive."
Dana Leisegang along with Scarlett Lewis, who lost her 6-year old son in the Sandy Hook School massacre, was honored as a Heroes of Forgiveness at the 18th Annual International Forgiveness Day Awards Ceremony on Sunday August 3, 2014