Chicago woman assaulted during rowing trip to raise money - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Chicago woman sexually assaulted during rowing trip to raise money for cancer

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Chicago woman plans to continue her attempt to break a rowing record while raising money for cancer, following an attack she sustained during her mission.

Michigan State police officers say Jenn Gibbons was sexually assaulted near Gulliver along Lake Michigan in Mueller Township early Sunday morning. She left Chicago last month.

On Sunday, police say a man assaulted Gibbons after she arrived in Manistique, Michigan. Investigators believe the attacker may have traveled a great distance to commit the crime, by tracking her whereabouts on her website where she posts her miles and location.

Gibbons wants to be the first rower to make the 1,500 perimeter row of the lake. She was traveling alone and on average would row 30 miles a day -- going through Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

Police have described the suspect as a white male in his 30s, approximately 5'8" to 6' tall, with a fair amount of facial hair. The suspect has light-colored eyes, an average to athletic build, and shorter well-maintained hair. He was wearing a grayish-green t-shirt, jean shorts, and tennis shoes at the time of the attack.

The attacker is also said to possibly be driving a bright yellow Jeep Wrangler, with a yellow smiley face on the back spare tire.

Despite the setback, Gibbons says she won't let the attack get the best of her.

"I still believe that life is a gift, even when it's scary and unfair. I still believe that life offers us the privilege, the opportunity, and the responsibility, to give something back, even when people try to take things away from us," Gibbons wrote in a post on her website Tuesday.

"I still believe that there are more good people in the world than bad," she said.

Gibbons' friends tell FOX Chicago News that she wants to change the world by helping breast cancer survivors get out and exercise. Gibbons appeared on Good Day Chicago last month to talk about her mission. Her goal is to raise $150,000 and finish the trip in two months.

Gibbons says that she is safe with family and plans on completing the journey in a way that's safest for her.

Her boat, Liv, will be stowed in Muskegon, Michigan until she can safely resume her trip on the water sometime next week. At that point, Gibbons and her team feel there are enough safe harbors and resources between Muskegon and Chicago to ensure her safety.

Until she gets to Muskegon, Gibbons will continue her trek on land, thanks to a donor and volunteers who provided her with a bicycle. Gibbons says she will be accompanied by a support team until she reaches Muskegon.

Gibbons still plans to reach Chicago in mid-August.

To follow her progress, visit Gibbon's website at Row4ROW.org.

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