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Kate McCann exclusive: My Liverpool and why we're closer to finding Madeleine

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX 3 YEARS ON

NEWS APRIL 2010

Original Source: LIVERPOOL E: WEDNESDAY 28  APRIL 2010
Apr 28 2010 by Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
 

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 we're here.

My 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 helps!

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 normality.

Gerry works full-time at the hospital and concentrates on  Madeleine-work? 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 find Madeleine.

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 Amelie's life.

Its difficult to talk of ?success? when we still haven't found Madeleine but this year has certainly enhanced our chances of doing so.

The court case in Portugal over the past ten months, which led to the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, 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 successful.

Another significant project during the last year was the fundraiser 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 the investigation 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 churches.

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 is.

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 it takes.

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.

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