A Vermont girl learned Wednesday that a special request will be granted by Make-A-Wish Vermont, with the non-profit’s wish granters saying the case is a first of its kind for them.
“We haven’t seen this one before,” said Lyndsay Landrey of Make-A-Wish Vermont. “I was so moved by her story.”
Kira Serisky, 15, of Shelburne, uses a wheelchair for a particularly cruel form of the connective tissue disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos. It makes joints and organs really weak.
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Serisky will soon receive a full, custom bedroom makeover – with a twist.
Kira requested space in the accessible, ground-level bedroom that is under construction now where she will be able to better foster kittens that are too young or weak to be adopted.
“I’ve always loved animals,” Serisky said.
Despite her mobility challenges, the teen is all smiles when she is volunteering at River Cove Animal Hospital in Williston. She helps the vets keep feline patients calm during appointments by holding and petting the animals.
“I hate the whole pity party,” Serisky said of her condition and the use of her wheelchair. “I don’t like to let it define me.”
In addition to creating the area for kitten fostering, an interior decorator teaming with Make-A-Wish Vermont will create an outer-space galactic theme for the teen’s bedroom.
Despite that out-of-this-world look, the cat care features that’ll be built into the room seem to be what is most meaningful to the 15-year-old.
“I get fed up having to rely on other people for all my needs, really,” Serisky said. “So I wanted to have a life depending on me–just kind of switch the roles. And it gives me a huge sense of purpose.”
“My husband and I consider ourselves extremely lucky parents,” Kira’s mom, Marge Serisky, said. “She is so resilient and determined to just live her life, despite her illness.”
The teenager’s dedication to animals also drew praise from Dr. Joel English of the River Cove Animal Hospital.
“A lot of kids could use this wish to do different things,” English observed. “But she wants to use it to help. And I think that’s a special thing about who she is; she wants to give back, and she wants to help these animals.”
The animal hospital’s cat whisperer has some pretty big surgeries of her own coming up in the next few weeks and said she hopes one day to be able to stand and walk on her own.
For now, Serisky is convinced her home’s future kitten fostering area will also help her heal.
“It’s going to be really cool,” Serisky beamed, describing the remodeled bedroom and kitten fostering area Make-A-Wish Vermont will work with her to create.