Make-A-Wish Recipient Drives Train over Donner Summit

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The California Zephyr that blazed from downtown Sacramento’s Amtrak station to Nevada Friday morning had an engineer like no other.

Meet 8-year-old Jonathan Dockins. Jonathan was born with a severe heart defect. His dream was to engineer a train and go over the Donner Pass.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation made that dream come true.

Jonathan’s mom, one of the proudest passengers on this ride, says trains changed her son’s life. “He doesn’t play sports. Jonathan can’t play a lot of the traditional sports, so he’s always been at home with trains…in his train room. He loves to learn the mechanics behind them and he’s a real train buff,” said Dee Dee.

A real train buff, Jonathan now has real train experience.

The lesson of a lifetime had to come to an end, but Jonathan’s mom says this special journey is the start of a new beginning.

Jonathan’s mother concluded, “I think now he’ll understand the importance of reading and writing and doing the lessons to actually see how his train ride….how all those skills will be needed when driving a cab.”

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