Jaycee Dugard was just 11 when convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, abducted her on her way to school. They held her in captivity for 18 years. Now, seven years after being freed, the 36-year-old survivor is rebuilding her life – and tells PEOPLE exclusively about her two daughters, fathered by Garrido.
In this week’s cover story, on newsstands Friday, Dugard says she is happy with all that her two girls have achieved. “I’m so excited for them and so proud of all the challenges they have overcome,” she says.
The girls, whose names have not been revealed, are both on the cusp of adulthood now. One is in college, the other will be starting soon.
“My daughters are both so important to me, and I am so proud of who they are growing up to be,” Dugard writes. “I’ve done my best to protect them over the years, just like any other mother would do for her kids.”
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She goes on to explain why she doesn’t speak more about their experiences in her book.
“You might wonder why not more of this book is about them since they are such a big part of my life. I have chosen it to be this way for the simple reason that I believe they deserve the right to their own stories. One day if they want to, they can write them their way.”
Freedom: My Book of Firsts will be available July 12.