Rufus Makes an Appearance Outside the Bag of Hope

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Rufus Makes an Appearance Outside the Bag of Hope
Seek Volunteer – Carina Persaud 

“Can I be this hype?” thought Carina Persaud as she watched YouTube videos on “How to be a Mascot” and prepared for her important role as “Rufus the Bear” at this year’s JDRF One Walk, Manhattan to Brooklyn. When a child is diagnosed with T1D, many families find JDRF’s Bag of Hope a useful and comforting tool especially with the addition of their new friend Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes. After attending an info session on volunteer opportunities through her school’s SEEK program, Carina was determined to continue to bring the welcoming and friendly energy of Rufus alive at this year’s Walk. 

“I loved being Rufus. I’m actually really shy but everyone was so encouraging and I got to meet so many new people,” comments Carina. 

“I didn’t know a lot about this disease but seeing how big the community was made me realize ‘Wow this is important.’ People brought their whole families and hundreds of friends and everyone was so happy, it honestly made my day.” 

Carina went above and beyond greeting, hugging, high-fiving, and even rolled around with some other furry animals.

“I had families come back 3 times and I thought ‘YES! They’re having a great time!’ The best feeling was when a little kid was shy at first but then ended up hugging me.” 

Rufus was one of the highlights at this year’s One Walk. Carina and the many volunteers who come out to support the One Walk contribute to the joy and hope felt in this community. We can’t thank her, SEEK, and all the volunteers who come out to support each other at the One Walk every year. Thank you to our volunteers for all your efforts.  

PSA: the Rufus the Bear costume is washed and dry cleaned after worn.