A Special Boy

When I first met Emre
When I first met Emre

When a close friend has children you love them like your own. A dear friend from high school was my first close friend to have kids. Her boy was so sweet as you can see from these photos. So much love. Even as a single gal living the high life in NYC I looked forward to visiting her in suburban Boston and spending time with her little pumpkin. She blossomed around him; she slipped into the role of mother very easily. I was enchanted.

Cutest little Santa
Cutest little Santa

As he grew, he impressed me with his fluency in both English and Turkish (and his innate knowledge about which language to speak to which people), his calm demeanor, his knowledge of dinosaurs, and his sweetness.

My friend had her second son when Emre was 4 ½. When the

Emre with his infant brother
Emre with his infant brother

baby was six weeks old she took them in a car to visit a friend. On the way home, Emre insisted on having a toy on the floor of the car and my friend reached to get it. She swerved into oncoming traffic and Emre was killed; she and her newborn were unharmed physically. But of course emotionally the word “devastated” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Please, please, please parents: Do not pick up toys for kids while you are driving no matter how much of a fit your kid is having. Pull over and do it or teach them patience: Explain why it’s not safe and channel your inner Zen and ignore the screaming. Sing a song. Tell a joke or a story. Something, anything to not take your eyes off the road.

She has channeled her grief into giving kids access to places, books, and experiences that they would otherwise not be able to afford; things that Emre liked to do. The foundation she founded in his name has allowed hundreds of kids to go to the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo; granted all the books on the wish lists of inner city kids; sponsored kids to attend Fresh Air Fund summer camps; and personally delivered soccer balls and other kid-friendly items to Haiti after the earthquake. I am so proud of her for so many reasons.

EF+BZLast year the foundation established the Emre Knight Edepli Scholarship Program

Face painting!
Face painting!

at the Bronx Zoo, which grants scholarships for kids to attend the zoo’s summer internship programs. Hers is the only scholarship program the zoo has believe it or not.

Tomorrow is the last day to get early bird discount pricing for the Emre Fund’s special kids’ event at the Bronx Zoo that’s happening Saturday, September 13, 2014. This will be exactly seven years after the horrific accident. My friend will share the day with kids (including her three beautiful


living children) who will enjoy early access to the zoo before it opens to the general public, breakfast, arts and crafts, glitter tattoos, entertainment, kids’ yoga…Please consider sponsoring a ticket for a scholarship recipient to attend – we still have 4 tickets left to provide for these deserving families! 

If you can’t attend, donations of any denomination are sincerely appreciated. I will of course be there with my girls. Hope to see you there! 

Click for info on the event:


Swag Emre Fund
Dinosaur safari!



Emre Fund Scholarship recipient
A scholarship recipient and her family



One thought on “A Special Boy

  1. this is beautiful, Stasha. thank you so so so much. I am so grateful for you and that you remember him like this, remember even things that aren’t right at the forefront of my memory – like how he knew which person spoke which language.

    love you, me


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