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Sara & Kate ... 'true heroines

Original Source: SUN: SATURDAY 07 NOVEMBER 2009
The Sun Saturday, November 7, 200 Lorraine Kelly


I was hugely impressed this week by two tragic mothers who somehow manage to keep going despite suffering the torments of hell.

First there is the astonishingly brave Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000.

Sara has spent the past nine months ' the same length of time she carried her little girl in her womb ' listening to fellow victims of crime and hearing their stories of pain and betrayal.

Then there is Kate McCann. I met her for the first time this week and found myself tearful at the sight of this bone-thin, haunted-eyed mum who just wants her daughter back.

Both these women were thrust into the media spotlight through no fault of their own, but have been grimly determined to use their unwanted 'fame' to try to make some sort of sense of their experiences.

For Sara who was appointed the government's victims' champion, it is a passionate desire for those hit by crime to be heard, and not to be forgotten. She has been through the justice system and knows its flaws first hand.

Her long awaited-report will, hopefully, bring about much-needed change.


Kate just wants to ensure that Madeleine's disappearance remains in the public eye and to appeal directly to anyone who might be shielding her daughter's abductor.

A new campaign this week showed computer images of how Maddie might look today, at the age of six.

The website with appeal video 'A Minute For Madeleine has received more than four million hits.

No doubt some of the responses will be time-wasters, but there is always the hope that one day there will be a breakthrough.

It is now more than two-and-a-half years since Madeleine disappeared. Her little brother and sister are growing up with a ghost.

Four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie talk about her all the time and want to know when she is coming home.

Heartbreakingly, they have told Kate and their father Gerry they want to punish the people who have taken their sister way.

None of us can really know the anguish Sara and Kate have been through and I cannot make up my mind who suffers more.

The mother who has had to bury her child but at least knows her fate, or the mother who still has a glimmer of hope but never knows any peace of mind.

What's certain is that both of them are fighters.

Sara battles in daughter's name for victims of crime and Kate will never give up her search for her child.

They are real heroines.


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