Two Places, One Walk
Esmin’s Crew – Dia Vukovic
“This wasn’t just a Walk, it was a Walk for my son,” Dia Vukovic vividly recalls stepping onto Foley Square for the JDRF One Walk for the first time after her son Esmin’s diagnoses of type 1 diabetes (T1D). After reaching out to the Staten Island Board, Dia signed Esmin’s Crew up for their first One Walk in Manhattan. “It was a beautiful morning and I remember stepping out of our car and seeing the arch and hearing the music. I started seeing all the teams and their t-shirts and was filled with joy and of course I started crying.”
Every year, Dia, Esmin, and their team come out to the JDRF One Walk. Esmin’s Crew is unique for many reasons but what is super special about this team’s participation is that they attended the Manhattan to Brooklyn AND Staten Island One Walks this past year. Community and support are two staples to ANY One Walk event. However, each Walk site has its own flavor.
“The Staten Island One Walk is a great time for Esmin to get his School friends together. I love seeing the support for him and I love seeing Esmin advocate for himself.” The Staten Island One Walk is held at the College of Staten Island on a huge lawn. It’s impossible not to feel the support of this community and the Walk itself feels like a huge family picnic celebration.
“The Manhattan Walk will always hold a special place in our heart because it was the first time I saw other kids with T1D running around and smiling. They were happy and were excited. I knew Esmin was going to be more than okay after seeing these kids at the One Walk. I didn’t feel Esmin or I or anyone was alone in this anymore.”
Esmin’s Crew has been participating in the One Walk for 8 years.
“Esmin was 5 and now he’s 13. It’s incredible how far we’ve all come since his diagnosis. JDRF has given me more hope in that one day whether it be a cure or an easier way of managing it. The sense of security after getting involved is close to my heart and family and we look forward to Walk Day like it’s a Holiday every year.”