John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish Foundation record © Photo Reuters/Bang Showbiz
The WWE legend and Hollywood superstar has hit an incredible milestone for the charity and made more wishes than any other celebrity in its history.
Fellow WWE legend Hulk Hogan and NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon have each granted more than 200 wishes, but no other star has ever made it past the 300 landmark. Cena’s achievement came during WWE’s celebration of the stars 20 years since his debut for the company, notably calling June “Cena Month.”
“I just drop everything,” Cena said when he was honored for granting 500 wishes. “If I can offer a fantastic experience, I’ll be first in line to do my part.”
The 45-year-old actor and retired wrestler is Make-A-Wish’s most requested celebrity.
After granting his first wish in 2002, Cena vowed to always be there for the foundation whenever they had a fan who wanted to meet him—it’s a vow he has been able to maintain for two decades, with no sign of stopping.
The foundation itself helps fulfill the wishes of children between the ages of two and a half and eight, who are battling critical illnesses.
Earlier this year, Cena said: “The reason I love Make-A-Wish so much is because those are those families’ wishes. You can do anything you want, and Make-A-Wish’s list is enormous, they literally will do anything you want. ‘I want to kick it with John Cena and go see him wrestle.’ That is the coolest thing I have ever heard in my life.”
Cena admitted it can be “difficult” when he gets correspondence from families whose children have passed since their meetings.
He added: “Those are always difficult to read. But at the same time, the strength of the parents in sending me a message about how much the time that I spent with their child meant to them, it’s very special.”
And Cena previously opened up on his very first Make-A-Wish, which he granted in 2002, and his promise to always be there if the organization had someone who wanted to meet him.
He said: “I said, ‘If you ever need me for this ever, I don’t care what I’m doing, I will drop what I’m doing and be involved because I think that’s the coolest thing.’”
Earlier this year, Cena surprised a teenage super fan with Down syndrome, who fled Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
The boy’s mother, Liana Rohozhyn was forced to flee Mariupol with her family, including her 19-year-old nonverbal son, Misha. To comfort him through the journey, Liana told Misha they were going on a trip to find Cena—a fictional story made up by a mother in a dire situation that ended up coming true.
Cena just happened to be in Europe when Misha’s story appeared online, and the star flew to meet the family near Amsterdam, where they spent an afternoon building blocks and eating cake.
After spending the day with the family, Cena said, “This was a wonderful adventure in which I got to meet a wonderful new friend. Thank you for giving me strength.”