Riley kid searching for missing best friend

Luisa and her raccoon "Baby." (Provided by family)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A Johnson County mother is on a mission to find her daughter's missing stuffed animal, a stuffed raccoon named "Baby."

Most of you can probably relate.

Your child loses their favorite toy and it's pure devastation. But for the Kercheval family, it's especially difficult. That stuffed animal has been helping their little girl fight for her life.

Luisa and her raccoon "Baby." (Provided by family)

Being without your best friend as a 5-year-old can get lonely. Luisa Kercheval feels it.

"I miss Baby," she said, head tucked into her mom's shoulder.

"Baby" disappeared on Friday.

And while kids lose toys all the time, for Luisa, the heartache of missing the stuffed animal she's had since birth is felt much more acutely.

"We know it's just a raccoon, a baby raccoon, but you know. To these kids, especially the ones at Riley the kids who are there all the time like, little things like that mean a lot," said Luisa's mom, Leah Kercheval.

Luisa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year.

"Baby" has endured the pain and procedures right by her side.

"Baby's been with us on the journey the whole time, every inpatient stay, every doctor visit, every nap. Right?" Leah asked her daughter.

"Right," Luisa answered.

Until Friday. The raccoon was last seen at Riley Hospital during her latest treatment.

"We had him. Then we had him after her nap. I thought for sure we put him in our bag to come home but he's not been seen since," Leah explained. "He's missing."

"He's missing," Luisa repeated.

Mom and daughter put in some detective work: retracing their steps, checking lost and found, posting his picture on Facebook.

Leah even called Carter's, the toy's manufacturer, to try to get a replacement raccoon.

No luck.

That particular stuffed animal was discontinued.

Mom says if "Baby" never shows, this may be a difficult, yet teachable moment. A hard life lesson.

Sometimes things don't happen the way you want them to.

The Kerchevals certainly never wanted their daughter to need chemo. Faith gets them through.

"We're just gonna pray about it and we're just gonna look for him," Leah said, "and if he's out there or if we find another one just like it that would be ok and if not, we're just gonna trust Jesus, right Luisa?"

Of course, finding "Baby" for the fight would help.

The staff at Riley say they're on the lookout.

They know the power of positivity for children at the hospital.

"Anything that'll comfort these kids, we as parents are just...we'll move mountains to make that happen," Leah said.

And of anyone right now, Luisa could really use a friend.