Woman Gets Back Stolen Teddy Bear With Late Mom’s Last Words After Celebrities Help

teddy bear

A Filipino woman in Canada reunited with a stolen teddy bear that contained a recording of her late mother’s dying words.

Mara Soriano, 28, lost the memento while moving into a new apartment in Vancouver’s West End on July 24.

Soriano placed the custom-made Build-A-Bear inside a bag along with other belongings, including her citizenship card, an iPad and a Nintendo Switch.

The bag was stolen while Soriano and her fiancé attended to a friend who called them to inform that they had been hit by a van.

The teddy bear contains a recording of Soriano’s mother’s words before going into hospice care.

“At hospice her voice was different. Much softer. Not the mom I grew up with,” Soriano told CBC News. “That bear is the last memory I have of her speaking in her normal voice.”

Soriano moved to Toronto from the Philippines at the age of 9. Her mother’s recording was in their native language.

“She [my mother] said that she loved me and she was proud of me and that she’ll always be with me,” Soriano recalled.

Soriano reported the incident to the police. Her story quickly went viral and caught the attention of actor Ryan Reynolds, who offered a $5,000 reward for the bear’s return.

Vancouver: $5,000 to anyone who returns this bear to Mara. Zero questions asked. I think we all need this bear to come home,” Reynolds tweeted.

After surveying alleys, putting up posters and responding to messages on social media, Soriano retrieved the bear in a safe location on Tuesday night. Two Good Samaritans claimed to have recognized the thief from the available security footage.

“We waited, and lo and behold, he [one of the Good Samaritans] just pulled Mama Bear out of his bag, and I just immediately started crying,” Soriano told Global News. “I could not believe it! She was wrapped in a handkerchief, and when he unwrapped it, my knees just buckled… I couldn’t see anything immediately, because my eyes just immediately welled up! I snatched her out of his arms before he could even fully take her out of the handkerchief, and I just hugged her so tightly. I just couldn’t believe my eyes!”

Soriano’s mother, Marilyn, died last June after battling cancer for a decade. She gave her daughter the teddy bear in December 2017.

For the next few days, Soriano plans to carry the memento around. “It feels so surreal like I can’t believe, I can’t believe it, I can’t – like Mama Bear’s home,” she told CTV News.

Feature Images via @drawmaradraw

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