A mum has pleaded with robbers to return her wedding rings which helped her win her battle with cancer.
Bryony Bateman, 28, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after she gained six stone in just four months.
The palliative support worker got engaged to sweetheart Neal, 33, in the middle of her grueling battle and the pair married two months after she went into remission.
She said her ruby ring set gave her the strength to keep fighting – and were a special reminder of a friend she met during treatment who later passed away.
But heartless thieves smashed their way into their home while they were at work and swiped the £2,000 rings – and bizarrely a jar of rhubard and custard sweets.
Bryony, from Bristol, is appealing for the yobs to return the jewelry that “gave her the strength to win her battle with cancer”.
She said: “It might just be a bit of metal for them to swap for money of a fix, but it’s hard for me to even put into words how much the rings mean to me.
“They hold a lot of memories or my whole cancer journey.
“Just looking at my rings – and thinking about the wedding – kept me focused on recovery.
“It helped me get through that next bit of treatment, and even when the depression set in.
“It kept me focused on the wedding and the normal parts of life through it all.
“It made me focus on getting better and kicking cancer’s butt.
“It was devastating to find they had been taken.”
Bryony had always been a size 10 so was worried when she started to gain weight rapidly in 2012, aged 23.
Her GP told her she had a BMI of 34 – putting her in the obese category – and despite the support of her partner Neal, 31, she couldn’t shift the weight.
But she went to see a new GP and was diagnosed with a papillary thyroid cancerous tumour stretching from her neck to her breastbone and shoulder blade.
It was pressing against her thyroid – the gland which controls metabolism – and preventing it from properly regulating her weight.
She endured an eight-and-a-half hour operation to remove the thyroid and lymph nodes.
Bryony and Neal, a baker, got engaged after buying a ring in October 2012 in Bournemouth on a meet-up organised by the Youth Cancer Trust.
Their friend Kieran Stubbs accompanied them to the jeweler and helped them choose them.
He later lost his 17-year battle with a brain tumour, aged 37, in February 2015.
“He had made such an impact on our life in such a short space of time and was there helping us decide on a ring,” said Bryony, mum to Eva, three.
“My rings were a reminder of Kieran and how much he fought everyday but remained so positive throughout his fight.”
They were stolen from their home in Briar Way, Fishponds, Bristol, before 8pm on October 25, after Bryony took them off to go to work.
Robbers kicked in their door and ransacked the house, also taking a jar of sweets and two more rings.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset said: “I can confirm we are investigating this burglary.
“There haven’t been any arrests. We’ve carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area and forensic enquiries within the property.
“The investigation is continuing.”