By: Stephanie Tabash

SUPPORT. This one simple word was the powerhouse behind Alexis Nicholson, Amarah Nicholson and Alijah Norris’ contribution to the fundraiser at Mod Pizza in Columbia, South Carolina. The doctor told their pregnant mother that she might not be able to bring home her baby alive. The baby sister was expected to die soon after birth. Miraculously, Adora Norris is now 11-years-old.

Adora was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and autism; she has endured two brain surgeries and four eye surgeries thus far. Although obstacles have been thrown her way, Adora remains brave and optimistic. According to Alexis, “Everything is so simple with Adora…  She is so content in her life. She is so happy. She does her own thing. She goes through painful things and it is just another day for her.”  From the way her siblings speak of her, it is evident that Adora’s personality radiates. From playing the piano and drums to computer coding, Adora is multitalented. “Whenever we are playing video games, she plays with me. She is able to get the game. Other people don’t give me the same feeling as her,” her brother Alijah stated.

On Monday, June 19th, these three young adults spent their entire day spreading awareness and educating their community about hydrocephalus. When asked about what worries her, Amarah said, “Sometimes it’s hard when we are out in public. She (Adora) likes to scream and people don’t understand her and what’s going on with her.” Alexis added, “But we were really excited about this event. More nervous about the success. Hydrocephalus research is important and we need more funds. The Columbia group is small. I was worried about the turnout. But the turnout was great. As soon as we got there, I was ready to work!” They set up a stand with information about hydrocephalus and the Hydrocephalus Association. They handed out flyers at Mod Pizza to notify customers that 20% of the sales’ proceeds would be donated to hydrocephalus research. Adora was able to attend the event and interacted with people and, of course, put a giant smile on their face. “We have a story to tell,” Alexis said. Their passion and drive to funding a cure for their younger sister helped them raise about $600 and gathered about 240 participants. “One lady bought 18 pizzas after hearing about the cause,” Alexis joyfully screamed out in laughter.

“My goal is for her (Adora) to be successful and get every opportunity that we do. She is capable of doing anything,” says Amarah. Alexis mentioned that “it (hydrocephalus) affects my entire family. It is near and dear to my heart. Because there is no cure, I will work until one is found. I want to be as involved as I can be.” Their next steps include attending the WALK to End Hydrocephalus™ on September 30th, at Sand Hills Mall. They hope to see some familiar faces from the Mod Pizza event as well as many more new faces.