North Shore dad raises nearly $310K for Easterseals
Brad Serot of Winnetka, vice chairman at CBRE, has a 7-year-old daughter, Ava, who has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. He will soon be participating in the Triple Bypass Cycling Race in Colorado in honor of Ava.
On Aug. 2, he began a fundraising campaign for this race to raise awareness and support for Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. As of Aug. 19, he has received more than 500 donations totaling more than $309,000.
Serot turned to cycling as an outlet to help him through the months at home during the pandemic. He dusted off his road bike, which had been in storage, and started riding. His passion for cycling ignited quickly and connected him to many colleagues and friends.
Serot started riding in century rides and other long-distance courses across the country with Ava as his inspiration. Her grace, determination, and humor built up his courage to compete in the Triple Bypass as an avenue to bring awareness to causes that have impacted his family.
"Ava is a warrior and fights each and every day to do the simple tasks that we all take for granted," Serot said. "We have a saying in our house -- 'Yes I Can' -- and she works harder than anyone I know and does it with grace, determination, and humor.
"Ava is my Warrior Princess, with big, bold dreams, and I am committed to doing everything in my power to watch her succeed.
"This race will be the ride of my life ... But this doesn't even compare to the battles that children like Ava fight every day."
Serot is on the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago's board of directors. His energy and compassion to support those living with epilepsy has been an inspiration to Bryan Anderson, the foundation's president and CEO.
"I am in awe of what Brad has accomplished," said Anderson. "His commitment to the cause is amazing. I am proud to have him as a member of our team, and even prouder of him as a father to Ava."
Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley President and CEO Theresa Forthofer said, "Brad and his family's advocacy, strength and commitment to individuals with disabilities help children like his daughter, Ava, receive the individualized therapies they need to support their growth, progress and development. We are cheering him on this week and share his motto of 'Yes I Can' every day."
Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley
Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley creates limitless possibilities for infants, children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities. It offers pediatric therapy services throughout the Western suburbs to help families build skills and access resources they need to live, learn, work and play in their communities. More than 1,000 children come through its doors each week. The organization believes in their abilities, helps them reach their goals and celebrates their progress every step of the way.
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago
The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is an Illinois nonprofit organization that serves 44 counties and offers case management, advocacy and educational services to people with epilepsy, their families, and the communities in which they live. The Epilepsy Foundation leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.