EVERY time I'm back home at my mum and dad's and I head off for a run,
it fills me with a great sense of warmth and hope to see the green and
yellow ?Madeleine rosettes? tied to the railings along Allerton Road. It
makes me very proud of my Liverpool roots.
Liverpool has been a bedrock of support for all our family.
We frequently receive positive comments, reassuring hand squeezes and
pats on the back with general hopeful encouragement from passers-by when
mum and dad
have had so many comforting hugs from friendly strangers and I know my
dad's had a fair few pints bought for him over the past three years! It
makes us feel that we are not alone in this relentless battle. And that
It's incredibly painful to think that
three years have gone by since we last
saw Madeleine. Just the thought of it makes me panic. Strangely though,
it sometimes feels like it all happened yesterday, but then reading my
journals reminds me very clearly, of just how much has happened and how
much we've done during this time. It's suddenly very apparent how three
years have passed!
Although our lives are very different now (I often refer to my life
pre-May 2007 as ?my previous life?), we have reached a new kind of
Gerry works full-time at the hospital and concentrates on
in the evening when the children have gone to sleep. I have not returned
to medical work but spend my ?working day? dealing with the campaign to
This set up also gives me the flexibility to support
Sean and Amelie
as much as I can. As for the twins ? they are just fantastic. They are
enjoying school and are incredibly happy children ? and really funny!
They play together constantly, a little like having your best friend
with you all the time.
I honestly don't know where we'd be without them. They bring us that
vital bit of joy, laughter and warmth that makes you want to get out of
bed in the morning.
Their understanding of what has happened and what we are all trying to
achieve is quite remarkable.
Madeleine remains a hugely significant person in their life. She appears
in their role-play, in their conversations and in their prayers at
night. I've heard them on many occasions talking to other children in
the park saying ?our big sister's six-and-a-half? blah, blah, blah?.
It makes me very proud of them and even more determined to bring their
big sister back home. Madeleine is certainly not forgotten in Sean and
Its difficult to talk of ?success? when we still haven't found
Madeleine but this year has certainly enhanced our chances of doing so.
in Portugal over the past ten months, which led to the injunction
Goncalo Amaral's book
has been a significant step forward.
The damage caused in Portugal, by this book and
?documentary?, to our efforts to find Madeleine may not have been apparent in the UK
but we believe it has been highly detrimental.
Needless to say, it has caused us much added pain and frustration over
the past few years.
The injunction has therefore brought us great relief, as we can
hopefully start moving forward with the search, in the places were it
really matters. At least now, all our efforts stand a chance of being
Another significant project during the last year was the
we held in January. It was a lot of work (for an amateur like me!) but
in both financial terms and in terms of awareness of missing children
and re-energising our search for Madeleine, we probably achieved more
than we'd hoped.
The work to find Madeleine continues on a daily basis. Every day both
and the campaign go on, hand in hand.
Apart from the two main projects of the last year, we have recruited
help from universities, the travel industry and
We have targeted specific areas of the world to help further our search.
And of course, there is still a lot of mail to read and reply to. There
certainly hasn't been a day when we've thought, ?I've got nothing to do
today?. There is much that can still be done to find Madeleine.
There has been copious amounts of information received and gathered at
various locations. Despite three years having passed, this information
has still not been reviewed together systematically ? many pieces of the
jigsaw, not yet joined up.
We believe that by doing this, we will be much closer to finding out
what has happened to Madeleine. At the very least, we would be much
clearer in knowing what still needs to be done to find her.
It's very hard to feel that the key piece of information, which would
unravel this whole nightmare and bring Madeleine home, could be sitting
on someone's desk.
We will continue to request a review of all the information held and
hope that in the coming months, the governments and law enforcement
agencies will work together to achieve this.
In the meantime, we will continue with our work, knowing that there's
somebody out there who knows what's happened to Madeleine and where she
And of course, it will not just be the person who took Madeleine that
could help to give us this breakthrough? their mother, father, brother,
sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, grandfather, partner,
colleague, neighbour or friend.
Everybody is known to someone. Everybody confides in someone.
All we need to do is reach one of these people or hope that one day,
they will find the courage and compassion to come forward and tell us.
As long a period as three years sounds, its incredibly small when
compared to a lifetime. Its those many, many years ahead with Madeleine
that we long for and aim towards. The effort of perseverance pales into
insignificance compared to a reward so precious.
Madeleine is a real little girl and she is still missing. We will not be
going away and will never stop looking.
We will press on with the same commitment and tenacity, for as long as
A very special ?thank you? to everybody in Liverpool who has helped us
and continues to support us in the search for our little Madeleine.