Brittney Griner All-Stars Brittney Griner, during the media day at Phoenix Mercury. Uscp 75fs9aqovsk1nhdf77xl Original

After she was found guilty of drug charges and sentenced to nine years in prison as part of a trial that was quite clearly a political sham, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner is spending her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison cell as she remains in Russian custody in what is similar to a hostage situation. While she is unable to see or be with any of her friends or loved ones on her birthday, she was able to send a few words to the world through her lawyers.

According to anchor and correspondent Ana Cabrera of CNN, Griner had a simple message for everyone supporting her during this difficult time.

“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home,” Griner said in the statement through her lawyers, according to Cabrera. “All the support and love are definitely helping me.”

The message is uplifting, given how Griner’s situation and mental state have been described in recent weeks. With everything that’s going on, simply hearing from Griner from Russia feels like a success.

There are still ongoing negotiations between United States President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin as the two sides attempt to work out a potential prisoner swap that would trade Griner for Russian arms dealer Victor Bout.

There was recently some hope that Griner could be released soon with her appeal hearing set to begin on October 25, but Russia has recently made it clear that Griner’s situation is not a priority.

[Ana Cabrera]