Parkrose Middle School adopts newest ‘sparrow’ - KPTV - FOX 12

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Parkrose Middle School adopts newest ‘sparrow’

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The Kozhokar family with Sparrow Clubs advisor and Parkrose Middle School teacher Laura Queen. The Kozhokar family with Sparrow Clubs advisor and Parkrose Middle School teacher Laura Queen.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Three-year-old Abigail Kozhokar loves the color pink. 

She loves her family, crawling on top of her dad’s shoulders and playing outside. 

But this year, the little girl with the big smile has also proven something else: she’s a fighter.

She’s the newest ‘sparrow’ to be adopted by Parkrose Middle School in NE Portland, through a partnership with the nonprofit Sparrow Clubs. 

The organization connects school groups with children in medical crisis, to help support them and their families through fundraising and community service.

In February, Abby’s family knew she was starting to get sick, but her diagnosis came as a total shock.

“That’s when Abigail was diagnosed with Leukemia,” said her father, Andrey Kozhokar.

She began chemotherapy immediately but was declared high-risk. Her body was adapting to the treatments and they weren’t working.

She was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant, but nobody in her family was a match. 

It turns out the person who saved her life is a total stranger living halfway around the world.

“We don’t know him,” Andrey added. “The only thing we know is it’s a male, 29 years old.”

Abby just came home after spending five weeks in the hospital, and is now in remission. She’s back to being a giggling, silly little girl.

“We’re so thankful,” her father said. “She’s full of energy. She’s actually getting more and more every day.”

But she still has a long road ahead, and Parkrose Middle School will be there to help. For every hour of community service completed by students, business and community partners donate $10.

Since the school began partnering with Sparrow Clubs in 2007, students have helped raise $90,000 for eight different sparrows through 4,000 hours of community service.

“It’s just who we are in Parkrose now," advisor Laura Queen told Fox 12, who brought the program to Parkrose.  “In 29 years of teaching, it's the best thing I've ever done....It just teaches kids that, you know what?  What we do in life is what’s important. What we do for other people, not what we have or where we are, but what we can do for other people.  And that, for me, is the greatest gift I can teach them.”

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