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Tempe community rallies to replace sentimental stolen decoration

The inflatable snowman reminded Douglas Floyd that he can beat his cancer diagnosis.

TEMPE, Ariz. — A Valley family, just trying to spread a little holiday cheer in their neighborhood, was ripped off by thieves.

Earlier this month, Douglas Floyd left his Tempe home for his cancer treatment appointment. Around 9 a.m., his wife Holly heard her dogs bark and saw that their inflatable snowman decoration was missing from the front yard.

“It’s impossible to know why somebody would do that, but they did," Douglas Floyd said. 

The inflatable was gifted to Douglas and Holly by Douglas’ mother while he was going through health issues eight years ago. The inflatable reminded Douglas that if he could make it through those issues, he can beat his current cancer diagnosis.

The snowman was unique.

“The snowman was like one of a kind; it shivered and it said 'burrr',” Douglas Floyd described. “And it was just - I've never seen one like it.”

The Floyds said that if someone needed a decoration, they would have been happy to help.

“I mean, all they had to do is come and knock on the door if they really needed something like that for their yard or for their kids,” said Douglas Floyd. “My door’s always open. I'll help somebody out.”

It seemed this would be another story of thieves stealing a little holiday joy, except the Floyds’ neighbors got involved. A secret Santa, of sorts, sent the Floyds a new inflatable snowman, with a simple, but poignant message:

“It said ‘Merry Christmas,’” Douglas Floyd said. 

This simple gesture means the world to the Floyds and they want whoever sent the snowman to know they are grateful.

“I mean, there's a lot of people in this neighborhood that they really- that's something they wait to have all year long is for Christmas,” Douglas said. “And to have something like that be taken from somebody. It should not happen now. Not during Christmas.”

Meanwhile, family members have started a GoFundMe to help Douglas and Holly stay on top of the medical bills.

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