New address: 142 S. Raven Mine Drive, Suite 250
Grand Opening: 4 to 7 p.m., Sept. 13
Women Living Consciously book available at http://womenlivingconsciouslybook.com or on Amazon.com
Inside the reception area of Genesis Medspa is a book called Women Living Consciously, a collection of first-person inspirational stories.
Few people know of Genesis Medspa owner and medical director Dr. Lisa Jenks’ story of survival and how one day of brutal attack 31 years ago shaped her, but did not define her. Her story is among 47 in the book from women who have redirected their lives to transform into a new way of being.
“A lot of my clients are aware of the book,” Jenks, 53, said. “They have been very complimentary, very touched and very grateful that I shared my story.”
In these last weeks of August, Jenks is packing up her business at Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard to relocate into a bigger office inside the Gold Hill Mesa mixed-use development, southeast of U.S. Highway 24 and 21st Street. Genesis Medspa, which specializes in Botox and other injectables like Juvederm and skin and hair laser treatments, has grown from 30 to 60 percent in revenue each year since opening in 2007.
Jenks’ story is one of determination and savvy business smarts. It’s also a story with an ugly chapter, which she’s not afraid to tell.
In 1981, she was walking to the door of her Ohio apartment building, coming back from a Bruce Springsteen concert, when she was grabbed from behind, hit on the head, blindfolded and shoved into a car. Jenks distinctly remembers saying to herself that her attacker would not control her mind. She began taking mental notes of each turn and stop as her attacker drove, thinking the details would be important.
She was held at gunpoint, beaten and raped repeatedly. After 12 hours, her attacker dropped her off in a field. Those details she collected of the drive, the room where she was kept and the attack led to her attacker’s arrest. Evidence in his house indicated that he had attacked many women and killed some of them, Jenks said.
Jenks, a college senior at the time, had already been accepted to medical school. She grieved, she cried and she sought therapy. She decided that she would not allow grief and fear to control her. She testified against the man, Michael Riley; he was found guilty of kidnapping, burglary and rape. And then, she went to medical school.
“It’s so important to set (bad experiences) aside in the sense that you don’t let negative aspects of it pull you down,” Jenks said. “But, you do learn from it. I have learned from this rape episode — it’s pretty hard to stress me out, in large part because of that.”
For 17 years, Jenks was an emergency room doctor; it was fast-paced and hectic. But she always remained calm.
“I think I had more empathy and compassion because of what I had gone through,” she said.
She married, had three children and then took time off to raise them — they are all young adults now with plans to attend medical school.
“I think my path in life was pretty much already set,” Jenks said. “I think this event had a role in defining who I am, mostly in a very positive way. I frequently think about the fact that I could have died very easily then.”
Jenks has returned to Ohio every five years to speak against Riley’s parole. Each time, she’s been interviewed by local media. At first she didn’t use her full name or was digitally disguised for TV because her children did not know about her attack. They know now.
When she told her story, she received letters of thanks, passed on by reporters, from women who said her story was their story.
Unfortunately, she is not in a minority of women who have been raped, she said.
“It made me realize that if each time I tell my story, even if one person finds strength or was helped or was encouraged to come forward, then I want to tell it as many times as I can,” Jenks said.
In 2010, Jenks didn’t have to testify alone in the parole hearing. Another victim testified that following her rape, Riley stalked and harassed her, forcing her to move three times. The parole board sent Riley back in for 10 more years.
That’s been a relief for Jenks.
“I’m so glad he’s still in jail and I’m glad I’m here to tell the story,” she said.
When Jenks learned about the book that authors Sue Urda and Kathy Flyer were compiling, she wanted to tell her story.
It’s part of the healing process, she said. The book is listed as a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.
Jenks is focused now on her growing business. She opened the medspa with one receptionist and four treatment rooms. Today, Genesis has three doctors on staff and 14 employees.
The move to Gold Hill Mesa doubles her current space. The building, known as The Exchange, is situated in the heart of Gold Hill Mesa’s single-family and town homes and will include a fitness and wellness center.
The new office is being remodeled to fit their needs, said Michele Pribble, Genesis regional marketing director. The makeup room will allow six clients, instead of one at a time.
There will be seven treatment rooms instead of four. And there is room for the spa’s newest equipment — ultrasound technology and eMatrix, a radiofrequency and deep infrared heat technology for skin care.
Jenks is petite with a warm laugh. She loves to bike, hike and travel. She still listens to Bruce Springsteen. And she plans on telling her story as often as she can.
“Almost all of us have had something horrible happen,” Jenks said. “The details are different. Knowing each other’s stories is part of life.”