Jacob dreams of being a locomotive engineer on the railroad, but he faces a major challenge on the track ahead — a potential second life-saving kidney transplant. Fortunately, Jacob is supported by a great crew to lift his spirits as he awaits his operation.
After learning about Jacob’s love of railroading, Kirby Family Farm of Williston, Fla., hosted the youngster and his family for three days filled with trains, fun and hands-on learning experiences. CSX is a supporter of Kirby Family Farm, a non-profit education and outreach center for ill and at-risk children that features historical railroad equipment.
To help make Jacob’s trip extra special, CSX’s corporate citizenship program donated gift bags filled with CSX hats, train sets and other railroad items. Kirby Family Farms presented the CSX items to Jacob and his family on their arrival at the facility, where the aspiring engineer quickly learned all about the farm’s collection and how to operate one of its trains.
“He played on a huge layout at a model railroad club until he was nodding off with the controller in his hand,” said Daryl Kirby, founder of the unique education and outreach center. On his second day at the farm, Jacob was ready to take a real train ride. He and his family rode in a private 1947 dining car for lunch and stopped at a local ice cream shop afterward. On his final day of the trip, Jacob put everything he had learned to a test and rode aboard the Busch Gardens railroad, with a bonus lesson in how to operate a propane-fired steam engine.
“When it was time for us to say goodbye, Jacob and family were emotional and not wanting me to leave,” Daryl said. “I am continually thankful for CSX and all you guys have done to help us. I wanted to make sure and let you know about this and what an impact we will make on this young man's life.”