James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Grieving mother wants daughters memories back

Kiri Speirs with a photo of daughter Zoe. Mementoes of the 6-year-old who died of cancer in 2012 were taken by thieves. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Kiri Speirs with a photo of daughter Zoe. Mementoes of the 6-year-old who died of cancer in 2012 were taken by thieves. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The mother of a little girl who died of cancer is pleading for the return of jewellery crafted in her memory - including a lock of her hair - after thieves took it from her home.

Kiri Speirs' Point Chevalier home was broken into between 6pm on Saturday and about 9am on Sunday while she was staying with friends.

Among the items taken were her laptop, a camera, an e-book reader and a video camera with footage of a friend's family members who have died.

But it's the mementoes of her little girl, Zoe Wilson, who died in 2012 from a rare form of cancer, that she is most upset about.

Zoe was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma aged 3.

The cancer caused a tumour that grew from the base of her brain to her shoulder.

She went into remission for more than two years after chemotherapy and radiation treatment but the cancer came back in 2012 and she passed away soon after aged 6.

Jewellery Ms Speirs made to help her cope with the grief has now been stolen.

"I had a little bottle pendant that had a lock of her hair in it," said Ms Speirs. "They took lockets with pictures of us and I made a whole lot of jewellery with butterflies and hearts. People gave me jewellery with that kind of thing as well because that's what you do when you're a grieving mother."

Ms Speirs said insurance would cover most of the missing items and she had copies of photos of her daughter.

"The jewellery is really personal though ... all that is gone. It makes you really angry."

Ms Speirs has contacted police and posted the missing items on her Facebook page. "I know when people think things are worthless they will just dump them somewhere so we have put up posters and things on Facebook.

"It's just finding the people who have seen it - I just want them back."

- NZ Herald

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