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Replacement Of Hippo Stolen From Child’s Grave Restores Mom’s Faith

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HUDSON (CBS) — A local mom says Disney’s work to replace a Hyacinth hippo stolen from her daughter’s grave has “restored her faith.”

In an interview with WBZ NewsRadio 1030 on Friday, Michelle Roderick of Hudson reacted to Disney contacting her the previous day about replacing the hippo.

“They basically said they had heard the story from hundreds of people,” she said. “They had to go back to the manufacturer to see if they had the original mold.”

The mold was not only found. Disney is having a hippo cast for the Roderick family at an overseas manufacturer and custom-painted in Florida before it is shipped to Hudson.

Erin Roderick, who was 4-years-old when she died after a lengthy battle with brain cancer, had been inseparable from her stuffed purple hippo, which she brought to all of her cancer treatments. The stuffed animal was placed in her casket after she died in 2009.

The Disney Hyacinth hippo that was placed at Erin’s grave was stolen June 23.

Michelle Roderick said she was stunned to hear from Disney because it had stopped selling the Hyacinth hippo statues four years ago.

“I’m just totally overwhelmed,” she said. “I just never really expected this from my little letter to the editor to my local paper.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Roderick said she has heard from friends and other Hudson residents who have gone through the same kind of trauma at cemeteries where their loved ones are interred. “Things have also been taken from their graves,” she said.

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