Kate McCann: 'The pain is always there - but I'm stronger than a year
since Madeleine McCann tragically disappeared from her room
while on holiday in Portugal. Now her mother, Kate, has written a book
in a further desperate bid to find her beloved daughter
FOR THE LAST FIVE months Kate McCann has been holed up in her study,
painstakingly chronicling the last few agonising years of her life.
She's wept as she's written about her beloved daughter Madeleine's
disappearance in Portugal four years ago.
Kate's written a book, simply entitled Madeleine, in the hope it will
help her and her heart surgeon husband Gerry, 42, find their daughter.
They are praying that it might trigger more leads in the case, or at
least make them the million they urgently need to fund the search. It
will be published on 12 May - the same day they should have been
celebrating Madeleine's eighth birthday.
It wasn't something Kate or Gerry undertook lightly. Kate admits: "It
wasn't an easy decision to take I had to consider the impact on the
lives of our three children. But with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund,
it's a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands."
And indeed, it seems the harrowing task has taken a lot out of Kate, now
42. A family friend tells Closer: "She'd put weight on a year ago but
it's dropped off again. Reliving her nightmare has taken its toll and
she's painfully thin."
Kate stuck to a rigid routine while writing, running every morning near
her home in Rothley, Leics, after taking the twins, Sean and Amelie, now
six, to catch the school bus.
She then went to her study, poring over diaries she kept in the days
directly after Maddie's disappearance, only stopping to pickup the twins
A neighbour says: "Kate's eyes light up when she sees the twins climb
off the bus. They stroll along like any normal family."
But sadly this family has been in turmoil since 3 May 2007. As they
holidayed with friends in Portugal, Maddie had poignantly told her
mother as she went to bed that evening: "Mummy, I've had the best day
That night the McCanns made the fateful decision to leave their children
in the holiday apartment while they sat 100 yards away having a meal
with friends. They met at 8.40pm and checked the children regularly. But
when Kate went to check at 10pm Madeleine had gone, though the twins
were still asleep.
There haven't been any confirmed sightings of Madeleine since, but there
are plenty of theories about what might have happened to her, from being
taken by a paedophile ring or by someone who couldn't have children, to
Kate and Gerry becoming official suspects in September 2007. They were
cleared a year later, but it fuelled suspicion about the couple and even
led to internet groups being formed, throwing the couple's statements
But Kate and Gerry have never wavered from their belief that Madeleine
is alive and well.
Kate still sits in Maddie's pretty pink bedroom, where she allows the
twins to play, and has returned twice in the last year to Praia da Luz
to be near to where she last saw Maddie.
She revealed: "I still sit in Madeleine's room everyday. It's a
comforting feeling. We haven't changed anything."
But Kate reveals she has let go of some "horrible, negative" anger
recently, saying: "The wounds are less raw but the pain doesn't go away.
But I am definitely a lot stronger than I was a year ago."
Kate quit her job as a GP to be a full-time mum to the twins, and says
they've noticed her working on the book.
Kate reveals: "Amelie asked: 'Why do you work, Mummy?' I tell her:
'Well, I've got to find Madeleine.' And Sean says: 'But when that's over
and she's home, what will you do?' And I think: 'Bring it on!'"
And Kate is determined that the twins lead an ordinary life.
A friend reveals: "At one time Kate didn't even go out, but as the twins
get older she leads as normal a life as possible."
Kate takes them to the nearby Soar Valley Leisure Centre, but even there
they see reminders of Maddie - a petition remains in the foyer, backing
Kate and Gerry's plea to the government to conduct an independent review
of the case. Cars feature Maddie stickers, and green and yellow ribbons
symbolising hope are tied to aerials and the gates of the McCanns' home.
A friend says: "Writing about her daughter has been very painful, and
there have been many tears. It's the book Kate never wanted to write,
but the family are desperate to keep the search going. Kate has carried
on for Madeleine's sake."
Kate says of the book: "Every penny we raise will be spent on our search
for Madeleine. Nothing is more important than finding our little girl."
Madeleine's gran, Eileen McCann, 70, tells Closer: "We are still hoping
and praying. You do hear of lost children being found."
Gerry's mum Eileen and his sister Tricia will visit the family for the
anniversary of Maddie's disappearance.
Eileen says: "Sean and Amelie are happy children and love seeing us. As
awful and upsetting as it's been, we've grown stronger as a family."
This week the family will pray for Maddie at the Sacred Heart Church
near their home.
Father Keith Tomlinson says: "We will be saying special prayers for
By Tracey Kandohla
? Kate and Gerry urge anyone with information about their daughter to