John Cena Has Granted Over 600 Make a Wish Foundation Wishes—More Than Any Celebrity in History https://t.co/TEa6iE4LTz
— People (@people) November 6, 2019
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.”
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.
Photo credit: Twitter, Getty Images and WENN Photos