Entertainment

Oprah's last show holds special meaning for Christine McFadden

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oprah Winfrey's last show is just two days away. The finale holds special meaning for one Merced woman who's been a guest on the program multiple times since her ex-husband murdered her four children.

Christine McFadden said, "Oprah has such a big heart, and everything she has done is reaching out to people, trying to help them."

McFadden shares a rare bond with Oprah Winfrey. It began when she appeared on Oprah's show in 2004. Two years after her ex-husband murdered her four children in their Merced home while McFadden was out for a morning walk.

She made a second appearance on the show after her heartbreaking story inspired several suicidal women not to take their own lives. Then in 2007, Oprah visited McFadden in Merced to meet her new husband and their newborn twin daughters.

McFadden said, "I had these preemies, I just had a c section, it was a lot to deal with."

Just months later McFadden brought her beautiful babies to appear on an Oprah episode entitled, "Most Memorable Guests."

Nicole and Claire are now four years old. McFadden has her hands full raising them. And working full-time as a veterinarian. But the four children she lost -- Melanie, Stanley, Stuart, and Michelle -- are never far from her mind.

McFadden said, "That part never leaves. It's not something I talk about daily with other people, but yeah, it's there every day."

Keeping their memory alive is very important to McFadden. That's why she's grateful to Oprah for sharing their story and supporting the scholarship foundation set up in their honor.

McFadden said, "It's meant so much to me to see my older children's faces and their lives talked about around the world."

McFadden knows she and her children have had an impact on the show and its staff as well. One producer spoke about them during an episode of "unforgettable moments" last month. He shared that he's kept a picture of the murdered children in his wallet since McFadden gave it to him six years ago.

McFadden said, "That was amazing to me, it really really touched my heart and what that photo meant to him, that he uses it to remind himself, don't sweat the small stuff."

During our interview, McFadden revealed she was in talks with the Oprah show to appear one last time before the finale. But she said if that didn't happen she would be content knowing her children would not be forgotten.

McFadden said, "I've got a solid place in her heart, in their hearts and minds. My children do, that's all that's important."

Oprah's final episode airs this Wednesday. But on Tuesday night, Action News will bring you an exclusive one-on-one interview with the queen of talk. There's also rare behind-the-scenes video from her very first episode 25 years ago. "Oprah Looks Back" airs Tuesday night at 7:30pm.

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merced, merced county, entertainment, sara sandrik
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