Make-A-Wish got Bristol girl’s goat

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From the left, Kim Smith, director of corporate and community Giving at Make-A-Wish CT, Michele Hildebrand, Caitlin Hildebrand, Make-A-Wish recipient, and Joel Johnson, CEO of Johnson Brunetti.

Bristol Central High School junior Caitlin Hildebrand was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in May 2017.

During a hospital stay, one of Hildebrand’s nurses nominated her to be a Make-A-Wish recipient. Last August, Hildebrand went on the Make-A-Wish trip of her choice to a sanctuary farm, a shelter for farm animals, in California.

On Monday, Feb. 10, Johnson Brunetti Retirement and Investment Specialists, which partnered with Make-A-Wish CT to help grant Hildebrand’s wish, adopted a lamb named Piper in Hildebrand’s name from a rescue farm in Canterbury, Conm.

Johnson Brunetti CEO Joel Johnson said, “We’ve been involved with Make-A-Wish for eight years now. Kim Smith, the CEO of Make-A-Wish comes to us, and asks for us to grant a wish, we always say yes.”

“It was really cool. It was almost like my wish is being continued because after I went to California, when I came home I kind of figured that the wish was over,” said Hildebrand.

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Piper will be adopted by Hildebrand for one year, during which time she’ll be able to make any medical decisions for Piper. Hildebrand will visit Piper in April, and said she loves animals, and has pets of her own.

“I think they’re adorable, and they’re almost always friendly to be around. They can boost your spirit if you’re sad,” said Hildebrand. “I have one dog, Autumn, and a cat, Perry.”

“I think it’s incredible Caitlin came here today to share with Johnson Brunetti how grateful, and thankful she is that her wish came true,” said Make-A-Wish CEO Kim Smith. “For them to present her with the gift of being able to adopt Piper, just looking at the smile and joy on her face, it meant so much.”

Comments? Email jyoung@BristolObserver.com.