John Cena Breaks the Record for the Most Make-a-Wish Requests Granted

The wrestler and actor says he'll never stop fulfilling the wishes of critically-ill children who ask for a chance to meet him.

Kindness is all around us. We hear incredible stories about kindness every day. It warms our hearts when we learn about small acts of kindness, but we’re especially inspired when someone consistently dedicates their time to giving back.

It turns out that John Cena is just that type of person. He’s a triple threat of the very best kind: He’s got brawn, he’s got brains and a heart of gold.

The former wrestler-turned-actor, 45, just set a new world record for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish foundation, with 650 wishes granted. And he didn’t just set a record—he smashed it. No other celebrity has granted more than 400 wishes in the organization’s decades-long history.

Make-A-Wish, which has been around for 42 years, supports the dreams of critically ill children aged 2-18, providing fun experiences like trips to Disney World, family reunions, concerts and tropical vacations. But one of the most requested wishes? Meeting a celebrity of their choice, most of whom are athletes and actors. (Not all of them though—one very popular request is making a cake with Cake Boss’s Buddy Valastro!)

Other kind-hearted celebrities who have granted wishes include bands like Maroon 5, who have invited wishers to perform onstage with them, Tim Tebow, who has thrown a football around with many of them, Michael Jordan (who has granted over 200 wishes), and others like Miley Cyrus, Dwayne Johnson and Lady Gaga.

But Cena is by far the most requested celebrity and has said he’ll always answer the call to fulfill these children’s dreams. “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 said of the organization in 2019.

He’s also donated over six million airline miles to the foundation to help cover airfare for families having wishes granted, and has said he aims to grant at least 1,000 wishes, if not more.

“There is no more humbling experience than a child who could ask for anything in the world asking to meet me,” he said after he granted his 500th wish. “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.” This definitely makes the list of some of the most endearing kindness quotes we’ve heard.


Gillian Telling
Gillian Telling is a New York–based entertainment journalist who, for the past 15 years, has covered the entire spectrum of pop culture as a writer and editor. She's interviewed hundreds of celebrities throughout her career, ranging from Alex Trebek to Jennifer Lawrence, and prides herself on being the first person to ever declare that Schitt's Creek was an amazing new show (five years before everyone else caught on!).