There’s an orange train who chugs along the streets of Give Kids The World Village, carrying excited wish families to their next adventure. Many are unknowingly participating in Brayden’s dream. Brayden’s Express is named after a very special wish child whose favorite color was orange and had once exclaimed, “I want to be a train when I grow up.”
Brayden Breaux was five years old when he visited the Village as a wish child with his twin brother Dylan and their family. After a long journey battling a rare brain tumor called Anaplastic Ependymma, the week was a welcome respite of family time and happy moments.
In 2006, just 5 short weeks after his visit to Give Kids The World, Brayden passed away, and very shortly after the orange train that countless families have enjoyed was dedicated as Brayden’s Express.
This month marks a special milestone for Dylan, Brayden, and the entire Breaux family – high school graduation – and while graduations everywhere look different this year, our team set out to make sure this special family would have another memory of Brayden to cherish forever.
Together, our Village engineering team created a picture-perfect moment for Brayden to celebrate alongside Dylan. Donned in a graduation cap and carrying a diploma, Brayden’s Express was ready for the big day.
“My team loves to do things like this for our families and Brayden’s is especially close because we train volunteers daily on this vehicle and maintain it to run throughout the Village,” said Daniel Vidal, Give Kids The World’s Chief Engineer.
When we shared the photo with wish mom Andrea she said, “It brought tears to our whole family. Brayden had been on all our hearts as graduation was nearing. I kept thinking as a Mom, ‘This graduation milestone is about both boys and I know deep inside Brayden is celebrating with his brother. To receive this amazing gift moved all of us and unified graduation for Dylan and Brayden. It’s truly a special gift that made our hearts so full. We are so thankful to all who made this possible”
Our hearts swelled when we learned Dylan carried Brayden with him on their graduation day, tucked inside his cap. Fourteen years after their trip, we were honored to be able to contribute in our own way to such a momentous celebration. Wish families stay at the Village for one week, but they become our family forever.