Dream comes true for girl battling rare disease
Published: Thu 13 Apr 2017
Five-year-old Taylor Tenabel is living with a rare and incurable auto-immune disease – but her dream to drive a train has come true with the support of V/Line and the Good Friday Appeal.
Taylor became the youngest driver of the high-tech V/Line train simulator at Melbourne’s Docklands, and enjoyed the experience of ‘driving’ a 160 kph VLocity train through familiar scenes and stations in Victoria.
Taylor has monthly treatment and weekly check-ups in the Royal Children’s Hospital for Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM), a disease which affects just three in one million children a year, and causes her body’s immune system to attack her own muscles.
Taylor sounded the horn, shouted “all aboard”, watched her virtual passengers boarding her train and spoke on the radio to the Train Controller, before driving along the tracks in a range of simulated weather conditions.
V/Line CEO James Pinder awarded Taylor a special driver’s certificate. “She was doing a great job – even better than some of our trainee drivers!” Mr Pinder said.
/Line staff are throwing their support behind fund-raising for the 2017 Good Friday Appeal, joining the communities of regional Victoria in supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Station staff and conductors are rattling collection tins, and special announcements and digital messages are supporting the Good Friday Appeal. Mr Pinder says it’s a special time of the year for all Victorians.
“So many families in regional Victoria have a direct connection with this wonderful Victorian institution.”
“They’ve experienced first-hand the incredible work of the Hospital staff – and the expertise and first-class care they provide for the children. We’re delighted to once again be involved in supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital,” Mr Pinder said.