John Cena has granted more Make-a-Wish wishes than any other celebrity

Well here’s a nice story for a Thursday morning. Wrestler turned actor John Cena is out there trying to make the world a better place. And he seems to be doing it, too, as John has granted more than 600 Make-A-Wish wishes to critically ill children. And if that wasn’t enough, he credits the WWE for him getting involved in the first place. Loving, generous AND humble to boot. I suggest you get your tissues out now.

From “scrawny” kid who was bullied to a record-breaking 16-time WWE World Champion to bonafide movie star — it seems there’s nothing John Cena can’t and won’t do.

Now, Cena can add prolific wish-granter to his flourishing list of accomplishments. The wrestler turned actor has helped make the dreams of more than 600 kids come true for Make-A-Wish, a non-profit organization that helps grant life-changing wishes for children fighting critical illnesses.

Though he discovered it by accident when he was still a rookie in the WWE in 2002.

“My first Make-A-Wish, I was kind of shuffled — it wasn’t for me, I think the person wanted to meet another superstar,” Cena, 42, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “But the WWE does a great job of like, ‘Hey, there’s a Make-A-Wish kid in this room. Can you come say hello?’ So, a bunch of people are shuttled in to say hello to a young fan of WWE.”

“So, we’re shuttled in and said my hellos and took my pictures and then left. And they’re like, ‘Thank you, Make-A-Wish thanks you.’ I was like, ‘What is Make-A-Wish?’” Cena continued.

“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,’” Cena explained. “We’ve all experienced that joy of giving a gift for the holidays where you just nail it — that’s the same gift I get in giving back to people’s lives, in being able to give them wonderful emotional moments.”

Not only does the actor hold the privilege of most wishes granted by a single individual, but he also happens to be the most requested celebrity for the foundation, according to Today. Not many others make it past 300 wishes.

“The fact that I essentially play dress up for a living and can still be a force in providing hope and happiness for children and families? That’s extra, extra special,” Cena tells PEOPLE. “You can learn from any and every situation. I learned from every single child I meet and their families as well. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

And with every wish, the Blockers star commits to it.

“If you were given one wish, what would you do with it? I don’t know if ‘Hang out with John Cena’ would be at the top of my list,” Cena says. “But the fact that that is on someone’s list is the coolest thing. So, I approach it with that attitude — like this is fantastic, let’s make this wonderful.”

[From People]

John made a huge impression on his fans in 2012 when he delivered his Never Give Up speech after a match. He’s made such an impact that his fans wanted the opportunity to tell him how he’d motivated them for the better, which they did in this video. It will exhaust your tissue reserve, I warn you. So, I’m not in the least bit surprised that John is the number one requested Make-A-Wish representative and that he treats every wish as if it was his only responsibility in the world when he’s there.

In addition to brightening the lives of these children, John continues to work steadily. His next film is Playing With Fire, in which he plays a smokejumper. The film opens next Friday and is set in Northern California. The timing is unfortunate considering the horrible wildfires that are devastating the state for the third year in a row. However, John turned the ill-fated coincidence into an opportunity to help the firefighters by pledging half a million dollars to the charity of Paramount’s choosing that will directly affect the first responders. With that, John joins the ranks of, Matthew McConaughey, as Quimby reported yesterday, and Metallica as heroes helping heroes during this tragic time.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

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Photo credit: Twitter, Getty Images and WENN Photos

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37 Responses to “John Cena has granted more Make-a-Wish wishes than any other celebrity”

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  1. Veronica says:

    This is the feel good story I needed this morning, thank you.

  2. Scarlett says:

    I made the mistake of not keeping a box of tissues next to me when I viewed the “Never give up” related video, or maybe there are ninjas chopping onions next to me on the couch, either way, that message and that video is something I truly needed to see today, my heart needed that message like you wouldn’t believe…thank you!!

  3. anniefannie says:

    If you want a day starting with uncontrollable laughter, google “ John Cena prank phone call”

  4. Wow2 says:

    Crying my eyes out at 530am. John Cena was the last wrestler I absolutely adored. I stopped watching about a decade ago and its great to see that hes still out there spread his incredible warmth around the world. We need more John Cenas out there.

    Even tho you cant see him

  5. Skyblue says:

    Wow! This story really did bring tears to my eyes. Six hundred make-a-wish visits. Amazing! On the snarky side, maybe we can forward the article to Kate and William as an embiggening tool.

  6. SJR says:

    Good for him! Wonderful and feel good news. I don’t follow JC but, I very much enjoy hearing this. :)

  7. Ib says:

    You all need to listen to the Sho Madjozi song John Cena. It is AWESOME. A total bopper/banger/whatever. She is a super super talented Kenyan/South African rapper and this song has blown up in Africa and there is a whole viral dance challenge with it too. She’s won tons of young artist awards within Africa and globally (not in the us yet). And guess what -John Cena loves it!

  8. whatWHAT? says:

    Love this man! he was SO funny in both Sisters and Trainwreck. dude is more talented than people give him credit for, and SO SO SO nice.

  9. stormsmama says:

    The last picture with boy hugging his leg is just amazing.
    I had no idea this guy was such a hero.
    I knew he was funny…but this is so fantastic, i am a forever fan now

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      That’s the one that totally got me. What a great attitude he has, and what a clear impact he’s making on those kids. Sob

  10. Betsy says:

    This guy is one of my guilty pleasures, I can’t help it.

  11. Pineapple says:

    Um … as someone who is like, “what is the point of the WWE?” I have to say, I am sorry. I now see the point. XO Never give up. Wow. Great leaders haven’t gone away. I watched with my kleenex. John Cena, one great adult human.

  12. anneliser says:

    So my kids are desperate to see the Playing With Fire movie and are obsessed with him after the previews. They keep asking if I would marry John Cena, and I’m like … he’s objectively handsome but not my type (I go for tall and skinny rather than muscular), and I am also happily married to your father! And yet they persist.

    Anyway, this makes me feel better about their new John Cena fixation. :)

  13. T says:

    John genuinely seems like a good person. I love this story.

  14. Miss b says:

    This is very sweet, but it’s been well known for a WHILE. Is it making news now because he’s promoting a new movie?

    • TheRickestRick says:

      That’s what I was thinking – he’s been the leading Wish granter for years and years!! And I’ve always loved him for it! I’m actually glad if this is now becoming more well known if it in fact wasn’t before!!

  15. Other Renee says:

    Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Lisa says:

    That is awesome. Kudos to him.

  17. Khl says:

    I love this story! Needed it today

  18. Velvet Elvis says:

    He really is very generous with his charities, but did you guys ever watch the reality show with him and Nikki Bella? He projects a great image, but personally he’s kind of a jerk.

    • Case says:

      I was about to say the same thing. It is WONDERFUL that he has done these things for so many sick children, and I really admire any celebrity who takes time to give back to fans in that way. But from what I saw on that reality show? He was a controlling, borderline emotionally abusive jerk. He seemed kinda crazy.

      Reminds me a bit of how charming and truly kind Johnny Depp has always been with fans, while his personal life is a destructive mess.

      • Wow2 says:

        Are you 100% perfect in every single area of life? Have you made no mistakes or errors of judgement? Had a moment of anger or jealously?

        No one is perfect and I’m sick of people saying well this is nice but what about “x,y,z”

        You came off as a jerk with this comment fyi

      • Wow2 says:

        It’s also foolish to think that any reality show is actually real life. Theyre all scripted. Even john cena the wrestler is a character because it’s all fake.

      • Case says:

        @Wow2 I’m not perfect and don’t expect anyone else to be, either. As I said, what he has done for all of these children warms my heart, and I admire any celeb who takes time for that kind of stuff. It’s just that the show he was on painted him in a very controlling and disturbing light, very consistently. I get that reality show isn’t always accurate, but it was consistent enough where it did say something about his true self. My opinion of his personal life doesn’t change the fact that he did a great thing for these children.

        I’m sorry if my initial comments came off as rude. I was just making observations.

    • Meghan says:

      As someone who watched both Total Divas and Total Bellas- he was 100% a jerky douchebag to Nikki at first. She signed some crazy contract in order to move in with him and he had all these crazy rules. I think at some point they broke up (before they got engaged) and when they got back together he loosened up some.

      He grew on me so much during Total Bellas I think he is a complete dork in real life. I think his ex-wife put him through the wringer and he overcompensated with Nikki trying to protect what he worked so hard for, but eventually realized he just loves Nikki and didn’t need to be so anal.

  19. Maxie says:

    Very sweet story. Just the kind I like to start my day on.

  20. Gutterflower says:

    Love that bottom pic with the kid clinging to his leg. So sweet.

  21. ariel says:

    This story makes everyone’s day better.
    Thank you for that.
    And yes, I cried reading it this morning.

  22. Dutch says:

    Not to take anything away from Cena’s generosity, but this story has been making the rounds for years. A Google search brings up a story from Jan. 2017 about his record-setting 460th granted wish. It’s great he’s kept it up, but it’s hardly news at this point.

  23. Lily says:

    Wow…John seems like a genuinely good guy. No wonder he has such a huge fan base.

  24. LL says:

    The greatest guy in wrestling will always be Mick Foley. He also has a ton of Make-a-wish apperances under his belt (see What I did there?). He has numerous apperances to troops overseas. He has always been known to be a supporter and ally of womens wrestling, and many female wrestlers have talked about how he was always a safeguard for them because he was so respectful and genuine in his wish for them to have the same pay and respect as their male counterparts. But, for me, the kicker is that he has over 550 logged hours as an online volunteer for RAINN – and once promised to mow the lawn for anyone who donated $5000 to the organization.

    My son adores Mick Foley, and (besides his Missing ear and teeth) he is the perfect role model. With so many assholes to look up to, I’m so glad Mick (and John Cena) is there.

  25. DDT says:

    He has a great kids book called Elbow Grease about never giving up.