A couple from Shelburne, Vermont who recently lost their daughter after a long and often difficult illness is giving back to the nonprofit that made their child’s wish come true.
Pete and Marge Serisky will take part this weekend in a fundraiser for Make-a-Wish Vermont, which will see them rappelling off the roof of a downtown Burlington hotel. They are part of an effort to raise $100,000 or more for the organization.
'I think Make-a-Wish gives families a lot of hope, and a feeling of normalcy," Marge Serisky said.
The Serisky family had hope in 2019 when the organization granted the wish of Marge and Pete’s daughter, Kira. She received an outer space-themed bedroom that was specially outfitted so Kira could foster kittens for area shelters and animal rescue groups.
"They are my patients," Kira Serisky said of the kittens in her care in an August 2019 story on NECN & NBC10 Boston.
Kira had a particularly cruel form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which weakens joints and organs. She was left with significant mobility challenges but just loved being a kitten foster mom.
"For me to be able to give them a chance to grow up and be adopted is really rewarding," Kira said in the 2019 news report.
Kira died last year, at 17. Her parents still foster kittens in her memory, they said.
"This was kind of her way to feel like she was doing something in return," Pete Serisky said of his daughter’s volunteer work for the Humane Society of Chittenden County and other groups. “Because other people were always having to care for her.”
The couple’s fundraising adventure on ropes for Make-a-Wish Vermont comes on what would’ve been Kira’s 19th birthday, this weekend.
"I think she’d be proud of her mama and daddy," Marge Serisky said, adding that she and Pete are proud to be giving back to the nonprofit they say gave them a lifetime of memories of Kira.
Marge Serisky said she believes her daughter will be with her in spirit when she rappels off the hotel roof on Saturday.