Bristol teen visits California animal sanctuary, adopts lamb through Make-A-Wish Foundation


BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH)– A Bristol Central High School student is riding high Monday after getting a wish granted.

Big smiles from Caitlin Hildebrand when she visited a California animal sanctuary. But if you found out what she’s been through you’d understand why she might not want to smile.

Nearly three years ago she was diagnosed with Chron’s disease, at one point her weight was down to 80 pounds.

“That was the reason why I had to go to the hospital for the first time, because they were trying to get my weight back up and then I went in the hospital three more times after that because nothing would stay down. I couldn’t eat anything,” said Hildebrand.

With surgery, she’s better now, but it never goes away. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps kids with terminal and chronic diseases. So, financial advisers Johnson Brunetti stepped up and sponsored this west coast trip wish for the deserving animal lover.

“It’s just a great way to acknowledge all the hard work and the fight that she’s gone through,” said Joel Johnson, CEO Johnson Brunetti.

And he had one more “baaa-mbshell” up his sleeve. They adopted Piper, the lamb, in her name.

“She’s so adorable. She’s so cute. I’m very excited to go visit her at the sanctuary,” said Hildebrand.

And she can drive to a Canterbury animal shelter to see her whenever she wants

“I thought my wish was over. Now it’s like continuing and it’s amazing,” said Hildebrand.

And to make the wish even sweeter, there was a cake with a picture of Piper reading “Caroline make all your wishes come true.”

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