Wild Make Villebrun’s Wish Come True
Nett Lake Teen had Been Battling Cancer
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18 year old Bridget Villebrun of Nett Lake started watching hockey as a way to bond with her dad.
“My parents separated,” said Villebrun. “My dad would watch basketball, football, baseball, especially hockey. As I watched every sport like that I realized I was more attracted to hockey.”
But hockey also served as a way for this father and daughter to forget their troubles.
“It just gave me a distraction from what was going on in my life and what I was going through,” said Villebrun.
You see. what Bridget was going through was a battle with non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Diagnosed in the fall of 2014, it was Bridget’s father David that had to break the news.
“Having to tell your 17 year old daughter that she had cancer in her chest, it just takes your breath away,” said David. “When it’s one of your kids, that’s something you never think is going to happen. It did, and it scared the both of us.”
Through everything there was hockey and their favorite team, the Wild.
“It was a way for us to get through the scary part of it,” said David. “It took our mind off everything we had to do. It was three hours a night where we could actually feel normal again.”
While going through treatment, Bridget applied to the Make a Wish Foundation asking to meet the Minnesota Wild.
Her wish was granted, and this tim, David was more than happy to share the news.
“I had to wait all day until she got home from school so I could tell her,” he said. “She got a great big smile on her face, I knew she was excited already.”
Two weeks later Bridget was in St. Paul, signing a one-professional contract with Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
“That was a really surreal moment,” said Bridget of signing the contract. “I never thought that I would be part of my favorite hockey team, and spend time with the players.”
With the contract signed, Bridget went in to the dressing room, where she got to meet her new teammates, including her favorite Wild player, Mikael Granlund.
For David, it was incredible moment.
“I just sat back and watched her take it all in,” he said “I wanted to remember that part, her reaction, the smile on her face, that’s what I really wanted to see. It was amazing meeting the players, but it was more amazing watching my daughter meet them.”
While Bridget went home with plenty of souvenirs including a jersey, and a stick signed by Jason Pominville,
the memories of the day she spent as a member of the Wild mean the most.
“The kindness they showed me that day was unbelievable,” Bridget said. “I knew that they were nice and everything, but actually going through all that effort just to make my wish come true and having everything about that day around my wish made me super grateful.”