HomeCommunity NewsSMHS Grad Pens Top-Selling Book That Promotes Inclusion

SMHS Grad Pens Top-Selling Book That Promotes Inclusion

Victoria Nelson, a 2002 graduate of San Marino High School, has written a book on awareness and inclusion in memory of her daughter, Moriah, who passed away at the age of seven.

Separately, Justin Nelson and Victoria Fuqua received acknowledgment from their classmates at Huntington Middle School in 1998 for “Best Personality.” Since then, they have done little apart. The couple began dating as sophomores, graduated from San Marino High School in 2002 and were married in Malibu three years later.

The Nelsons welcomed a daughter, Moriah, who was born with a rare syndrome called CHARGE, and lived 7 short, but beautiful years.

Justin Nelson and Victoria Fuqua were acknowledged for having the best personalities while at Huntington Middle School. The couple began dating as sophomores, graduated from San Marino High School in 2002 and later married.

But, imagine if everywhere you went, people stared at you. This was a daily occurrence for Moriah. Born with a heart defect, Moriah had a gastrostomy tube, a tracheostomy, was in a wheelchair, and used other medical equipment. In order to break the awkward tension of stares whenever Moriah went out, Victoria would tell Moriah to “just wave and say ‘hi,’” “That usually allowed people to engage with her rather than just stare at her,” Victoria said.  While the Nelsons experienced so much goodness through their time with Moriah, Victoria saw that there was still room to grow as a society in the way people with special needs are seen and valued. She saw, firsthand, how Moriah was often ignored because she was different. In order to create awareness surrounding the different medical challenges some children face, and also to promote inclusion when meeting a new friend with different abilities, Victoria created the book Hiya Moriah.

“Everyone deserves to be seen, loved, and accepted, and we can each do our part by waving and saying, ‘Hiya!” Victoria said.

She also hopes to bring comfort and encouragement to all Moriah’s friends in the world, allowing them to identify with the different challenges depicted in the book, and to help them know they aren’t alone.

Philippe S. Friedlich, M.D. Director of the Fetal and Neonatal Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said that “Real superheroes live in hearts of children fighting big battles. Victoria Nelson is a superhero and mother who’s beautiful book provides a mean for parents and their children to learn about complex medical conditions. With such understanding, hope, help and love, young and old can provide a brighter future for all children.”

The Nelsons live in Arcadia and have two children who attend elementary school.

The launch party for the book—which is a #1 new release on Amazon—will be held on Sunday, March 10 at Chirp Karaoke Cafe in Pasadena, between 2-4:00 p.m. The event will be hosted by family friend and child actor Reuben Dodd, who also has CHARGE Syndrome and was Moriah’s first friend in the NICU at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

If you would like more information, please contact Victoria at victoria@victorianelsonbooks.com


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