The Make-a-Wish Foundation has been in strong partnership with WWE for many years. Since 1980, Make-a-Wish has granted over 300,000 wishes in the United States and U.S. territories. The foundation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization. The mission of Make-a-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. There are nearly 40,000 volunteers worldwide, and on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.
WWE’s partnership with Make-a-Wish includes wishes granted from WWE Superstars, as well as personalized experiences at WrestleMania events annually. This tradition started in the early 1980s with Hulk Hogan, who had the most Make-a-Wish requests at that time. Currently, a key representative in this partnership is WWE superstar John Cena.
John Cena’s Make-A-Wish Record
In 2012, Cena granted his 300th wish to Jonathan Littman, which included tickets to the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw. In 2015, Cena granted his 500th Make-a-Wish to 8-year-old Queens, New York native Rocco Lanzer, which included a ticket to the Raw after SummerSlam. Cena became the first celebrity to cross this milestone.
Making his “Never Give Up” moniker more than just a catchphrase, Cena’s relationship with the Make-a-Wish kids is certainly one of the biggest highlights of his career as a pro wrestler.
John Cena’s 500th Make-A-Wish
In 2009, the WWE star also became a recipient to the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award, which is named in honor of the 7-year-old Make-A-Wish child who, through his wish to become a police officer, inspired a group of volunteers to fulfill his dream in 1980. This moment would later create the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and WWE formed a partnership with them soon after.
Spending most of his time away from WWE now in exchange for a career in Hollywood, it was recently announced that Cena will be joining the cast of Fast & Furious 9, which is one of his biggest roles yet as an actor. Other Cena movies include Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2, Bumblebee, and several more.
You can be sure that Cena’s Make-A-Wish record will continue to grow as long as he’s around, too.
UPDATE: As of November 2019, Cena is up over 600 Make-A-Wish dreams granted.
In an interview with People, the WWE star said, “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.”
This article was originally published June 29, 2019.