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Madison’s Christmas wish was simple, she wanted to keep her sister safe.Christmas dinner was a single slice of stale pizza shared between them, found on the floor among the bottles and needles. It was an exciting treat for the hungry girls, who often found no food at all.
Three-year-old Madison and her older sister Lily lived in squalor. Madison, barely more than a toddler, had to take care of them both, because Lily had suffered a brain injury.
Madison learned to change Lily’s nappies and to climb onto the kitchen bench to search for food when no one remembered to feed them. She also learned how to keep her sister quiet when their dad was in a temper so they wouldn’t attract his attention.
Instead of Christmas carols, the background music in Madison’s home was the sound of their father beating their mother – giving her black eyes and broken teeth. When he was done, he would turn on Lily, angered that her brain injury meant she couldn’t do the things other children could do. If Madison didn’t hide them quickly enough, he would grab her by the hair and drag her screaming around the garden.
At a time that should be a magical part of childhood, no child should have to become a parent. Please donate today to help protect children like Madison and Lily this Christmas.
(Models Used and Names Changed to Protect Privacy.)