Wanted: Teacher appeals for dodo bird for student with cancer

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Monday, May 7 at 9:56 PM

DALLAS - At Meadowbrook School in North Dallas, it's hard to miss Doris the Dodo Bird and her lessons on extinction.

She’s a stuffed puppet, used by kindergarten teacher Lesley Armstrong.

"A scruffy little urchin, who you just fall in love with,” Armstrong said.

It’s even harder to miss the love between Armstrong and her 6-year-old student, Michael Malone.

Michael is a sharp little boy - voted class president - who's in the final stages of neuroblastoma cancer.

"Every day you feel like you're in pain during cancer,” Malone said.

Doris the Dodo Bird is one of the few things that makes Michael feel better. At the hospital, he sits with Michael during tests and treatments.

"I'm going to keep her,” Malone said to Armstrong.

"I know you want to keep her,” she said.

"You said,” Malone said.

"I know, I said,” Armstrong replied. “I'm going to try very hard to get another one, and that way you two can have a nice big hug. Be friends forever, right?"

Armstrong would love nothing better than to give Doris to Michael. But after 13 years of teaching with it in class, she's worried that wouldn't be fair to the students she's had, and will have.

So Armstrong needs another dodo bird for Michael. Trouble is, she can't find one.

"There's got to be another one out there," she said. "I've tried everything."

And now she's asking you.

The bird, made by the Folkmanis Company in California, has been out of production for ten years. Ms. Armstrong hopes someone who reads this will come forward with a dodo for Michael.

"It's just lovely. It's a love story," she said. "I know it sounds silly, but it's a love story."

And one whose end, hopefully, is not yet written. There was new hope Monday afternoon however.

The Folkmanis Company said they looked through their stock and found one remaining bird. We'll talk to the company Monday night at 10 p.m.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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