PHOENIX – Make-A-Wish congratulates WWE Superstar John Cena for granting 500 wishes through the wish granting organization. Cena will achieve the landmark wish total when he spends time with Rocco, an 8-year-old from Queens, N.Y., battling leukemia, before WWE Monday Night Raw at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. For Rocco, the chance to hang out with the WWE Superstar will be a wish-come-true. For Cena, the meeting will be his 500th opportunity to bring hope and optimism to a wish child battling a life-threatening medical condition.
Watch Cena surprise Rocco on NBC's "Today"
Since the founding of Make-A-Wish in 1980, no other celebrity has granted as many wishes as Cena. To acknowledge Cena and his contributions to Make-A-Wish, WWE and Make-A-Wish joined together to host a party on Friday, Aug. 21, at a Dave & Buster’s in New York City. Attendees included Cena, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE Divas The Bella Twins, WWE Superstar Sheamus, executives from both organizations, wish kids and their families. At the event, WWE announced a multi-year, million dollar commitment to Make-A-Wish – a symbol of WWE’s ongoing support for wish granting.
Photos of Cena surprising Rocco on NBC's "Today"
In addition to wish granting, Cena regularly goes above and beyond to support the mission of Make-A-Wish. He has personally donated more than 6 million airline miles for wishes involving travel, hosted parties for wish kids at WrestleMania and served as a Wish Ambassador at speaking engagements. Cena is also a recipient of the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award, which Make-A-Wish awarded him in 2009. In 2012, he also received an award to mark the milestone of his 300th wish, something no other celebrity or athlete has achieved.
“John Cena’s slogan, ‘Never Give Up,’ is a constant source of inspiration for wish kids and serves as a reminder to stay strong and keep pushing through the difficult times,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO. “The fact that he has had the sustained success required to reach 500 wishes speaks volumes about the type of person John is and the quality of the wish experience he delivers.”
Photo highlights from Cena's 500 wishes
“There is no more humbling experience than a child who could ask for anything in the world asking to meet me,” said WWE Superstar John Cena. “I have faced some of the toughest Superstars in WWE history and I’ve never encountered more bravery or toughness than I see in each wish kid that I meet. It is inspiring to see the impact that granting wishes can have and I look forward to granting 500 more.”
WWE has been involved in wish granting since the early 1980s, beginning shortly after the founding of Make-A-Wish. The popularity of WWE has endured throughout the years with a total wish count of more than 6,000. Since 2001, more than 45 Superstars and Divas have individually been requested, and subsequently, granted a wish. To learn more about Make-A-Wish and the WWE relationship, visit wish.org.