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Nora Leonard, a ‘fierce and loving’ daughter who inspired celebs worldwide, has died at 17

The daughter of Second City mainstays Kelly Leonard and Anne Libera died Thursday of cancer. Ben Affleck, Tina Fey and Steve Carell were among celebrities who were part of the “#Team Nora” support campaign.

Nora Leonard.
Nora Leonard.

Ben Affleck, Tina Fey and Steve Carell were among the dozens of celebrities around the globe who joined the “#Team Nora” support campaign.

Their faces, along with the handwritten slogan, appear on the Facebook pages of 17-year-old Nora Leonard’s parents.

Nora, the daughter of Second City mainstays Kelly Leonard and Anne Libera, died Thursday evening, after battling cancer.

“She was surrounded by those that loved her and those she loved,” her father wrote on the family’s online CaringBridge journal.

Earlier Thursday, Kelly Leonard had posted that Nora had gone into “kidney or liver failure — we aren’t certain which, but we did not want them to do unnecessary tests when we know the outcome. Our goal has been to keep her pain-free and anxiety-free; to know that she is with the ones who love her and the ones that she loves. Our room smells like peppermint, we are playing her favorite shows and favorite stories, we give her water when she asks for it.”

Nora was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and lungs in August 2018, after complaining of pain in her back and stomach. She began chemotherapy early last September.

An online campaign, set up to help pay her medical bills, raised more than $100,000.

“Nora is kind and talented, fierce and loving,” her parents wrote when the page was set up. “She is a champion of other’s accomplishments and honor’s everyone’s dignity.”

The campaign kicked off with $10,000 from Second City, where Nora’s parents have worked since the 1980s. Libera is director of comedy studies. Leonard is executive director of insights and applied improvisation.

Nora’s parents’ Facebook pages are filled with observations about their child’s cancer battle, including this one from her mother earlier this month: “There is no happier 8:30 p.m. trip to the Michigan Avenue Walgreens than the one where your daughter requests more Lunchables, when 24 hours ago she was so nauseated she couldn’t speak. And when you say ‘I’ll be back’ she makes you repeat it as ‘The Terminator.’ ”

The end of Kelly Leonard’s Thursday night post reads: “We have not a single regret and we treasure every single year we had with her, although those years were cut far too short.”