Puppet company owner reaches out to young cancer-fighter



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Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:47 PM

On News 8 at 6 p.m. Monday, we introduced you to Michael Malone, a six-year-old with a smile that can melt the toughest heart,.

He is also in the final stages of cancer.

For years, his teacher at Meadowbrook School has used a stuffed animal dodo bird named Doris to teach students. Michael bonded with it, bringing him comfort at his many tests and doctor's appointments.

But his teacher, Lesley Armstrong, has been unable to find a replacement, so Michael could keep Doris the Dodo Bird. She reached out to News 8 for help in finding another for her student.

It wasn't an easy search. The bird, made by the Folkmanis Company in California, has been out of production for 10 years and was initally a limited run.

After we posted Michael's story on Facebook Monday, dozens of viewers contacted the Folkmanis Company to see what could be done.

WFAA spoke to company spokewoman Elaine Kollias via Skype on Monday night. She told us the owner of the company had a complete set of their plush puppets, at least until he heard about Michael on Monday.

"He's thrilled to be able to help a child," Kollias said. "It's much more important then being able to keep a collection intact."

They also had a message for the six-year-old.

"Michael, we wish you some joy with the dodo," Kollias said. "Thank you for being a fan of puppets. We think puppets are really great, too. And we're just thrilled to be able to offer this to you, and hope that it brings you a little bit of comfort."

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com