June 24, 2014 8:37am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Slender Man' Victim's Family Releases Photo to 'GMA,' Raises $50K for Recovery (Video)
The family of the 12-year-old girl who was stabbed 19 times allegedly by two friends in a "Slender Man"-inspired attack released a photo of the victim to Good Morning America.
The ABC show on Tuesday aired a picture of the girl holding a homemade sign reading "THANK YOU" and surrounded by cards sent to her from supporters around the world. (Her face wasn't shown, as her family wants to protect her identity.) Another image shows a "tree of hope" made of purple hearts by a local artist (purple is her favorite color).
"She felt compelled to send a message back to all of those people from all over the world that have contacted her and say, 'You know, I got your note, and thank you so much,'" family spokesman Steve Lyons said.
On May 31, prosecutors say, the victim was taken into the Wisconsin woods by two other 12-year-olds — Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser — and stabbed 19 times. Their aim was to impress Slender Man, a faceless bogeyman whose mythology has proliferated on the Internet. The pair are being tried as adults.
"She's been able to get home, but the road to recovery is going to be a long one," Lyons said, adding: "The other night she and her dad were able to go see a Disney film, and that's normal."
Meanwhile, the family also revealed that they've received more than $50,000 from donors to help with "mounting medical expenses."
"We simply cannot put into words how grateful we are for the prayers, packages and heartfelt messages," the family said in a statement. "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. Together as a family, we continue to adjust to our 'new normal.' She has a courageous heart and bravely deals with both the physical and emotional challenges since the attack."