Celebrities join hunt for B.C. woman's stolen teddy bear containing dying mom's recorded voice

B.C. woman searching for stolen teddy bear that holds dying mom's voice

“Mara, I love you, I’m so proud of you, I’ll always be with you.”

Those words, contained in a voice recording in a plush bear, are the last thing Vancouver’s Mara Soriano had of her mother who died of cancer last year.

Now they’re gone — pilfered by an opportunistic thief on Friday — and Soriano is pleading with the city to help her find her keepsake.

Ryan Reynolds, perhaps the city’s best-known celebrity export, has even offered to help.

Until Friday, Soriano had kept the bear safely at home, relying on it to give her comfort in tough times or when she missed her family in Ontario.

The

The

Mara Soriano

“Every time I missed (my mom) I would hug that bear and I would listen to that recording,” she told Global News.

“It was so important to me that I kept it with the rest of our important documentation, with our passports, with our social insurance numbers.”

That’s where the bear was when a thief nabbed it on Friday.

Soriano and her fiancé were moving into a new apartment in the city’s West End when a friend who was coming to help was struck by a car.

Mara and her mother.

Mara and her mother.

Mara Soriano

Soriano panicked and rushed to the crash scene, dropping her Herschel backpack with her valuables in it, including an iPad, a Nintendo Switch, key documents, and the bear.

Her fiancé kept working, not realizing Soriano hadn’t taken the bag with her.

The friend, fortunately, was OK, but the priceless bear was gone.

“In the five minutes that I put it down and he had unloaded the U-haul, this person had taken the bag,” she said.

The search for the bear has now gone viral.

Ryan Reynolds took to Twitter to offer a $5,000 reward for its return.

George Stroumboulopoulos followed it up with an offer of $5,000 more.

“I just immediately started sobbing. It’s crazy,” Soriano said of the public outpouring of support.

“I never thought something like this would happen to me.”

In the meantime, she’s asking that whoever has the stuffed bear return it — no questions asked.

“Please return the bear. I don’t care about the iPad and the bag … I can replace my passport,” she said.

“I just want my bear back. It’s my last thing I have of my mom that reminds me of her.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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