Sentimental value can render some objects more priceless than even the most opulent of jewels. When Mara Soriano lost a backpack containing a teddy bear that contained a recording of her late mother’s voice, she’d have gone anywhere and done anything to get that teddy bear back.

Mara looked everywhere

The teddy bear contained the voice of Mara’s mom, Marilyn Soriano , who was diagnosed with cancer about 10 years ago when Mara was only 18 years old.

Her mom gave her the bear in December 2017 and it included a voice recording made by Marilyn, a touching reminder the love between mother and daughter.

It was also a last memory of Marilyn’s true voice, which had changed as her cancer progressed.

“It was much softer. The cancer had really eaten away at her and that bear was basically the last reminder of the mom that I knew – it was her voice that I remembered growing up,” she said in an earlier interview.

Mara’s mom died last June, but the bear remains a poignant memory of the healthy and vibrant woman she once was.

The precious teddy bear had been stolen the Friday before while Mara was moving to a new apartment. After she realized it was lost, she turned to social media for help. Her pleas soon went viral with celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds promising a $5000 rewards for its safe return.

Two good samaritans answered the call

Soriano said she got an email around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night from someone who said they had the bear and wanted to return it, and while she was skeptical at first, she set up a safe meeting place, and she went to the meeting spot with a member of the media.

Then, finally, two good samaritans came with the teddy bear in hand and returned it to the incredibly grateful Mara.

I’m not gonna lie I kind of buckled. As soon as I saw (him) pull her out of the bag my knees just buckled.

Mara Soriano to CTV News

“I just started sobbing and I grabbed her out of his hands and I couldn’t let her go,” she added. It feels so surreal like I can’t believe, I can’t believe it, I can’t – like Mama Bear’s home.”

The bear was in perfect condition

Mara said the bear had been rescued when the good samaritan saw security footage online and recognized the person who had stolen the backpack with the bear in it.

The bear was in a bag and in perfect condition. “Not a single scratch, not a single thread is off,” Mara said. While there was a little bit of bicycle grease on the bear’s jacket, she said that was “nothing a little laundry can’t fix.”

The iPad with photos and videos of her mother that hadn’t been backed up and are still missing though.

“I just wanted the bear. The bear is what’s the most important part. She made it herself.”

Mara believes her mother would have told her to keep the faith. “I feel like she would have said ‘I told you so’.”

When she gets married next summer, Mara said the bear will take the seat that her mom would have been sitting in.

But  for now she’s not letting the bear out of her sight.

It’s hard to let it go. I’m going to sleep with her tonight. I’m going to show her the new apartment, it’s just been the wildest three hours. It literally just happened, and I still can’t believe it.

Mara Soriano

Never lose faith in the kindness of strangers

In today’s world, where we are flooded with news of terrible events and tragedies, it can be easy (and understandable) to be wary or lose faith in the kindness of strangers.

But Mara’s story is a touching reminder that good people are out there, all we need to to is keep faith and we will find them.

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