John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish record with 650 wishes granted to sick children

John Cena in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for JCPenney)

WWE superstar and actor John Cena is the celebrity kids ask for most when they’re granted a wish through Make-A-Wish. And time and time again, John Cena shows up.

Cena has granted a record 650 wishes to critically ill children since he started working with the foundation in 2002, a new world record, according to Guinness. Make-a-Wish helps ailing kids and teens have a wish granted, such as meeting a celebrity, becoming a VIP at theme parks or traveling to a dream destination.

In a 2018 interview with the Associated Press, Cena explained why he’ll keep granting wishes "as long as they’re asking me to do it."

"I try to put myself in that perspective of if I had one thing to wish for, where would I fall on that list?" he said. "I don’t know exactly if I’d be in my top 100. So for me to be the name of like, ‘I would like to hang out with this person for the day,’ that’s a pretty strong statement.

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"It really is pretty magical when they get a really intimate experience with the individual and then they get to go see them be a superhero [in a WWE performance]. I’ll do that as long as I can, as long as they’re asking me to do it."

Cena, 45, is tied with Ric Flair for the most WWE world championship reigns. His movies include "The Suicide Squad," "Bumblebee," "Trainwreck" and "Playing with Fire," among others.


John Cena visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 15, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

In 2012, Cena granted Make-A-Wish’s 1000th wish to a fan named Cardon. He also wrote a children’s book in 2018.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records website, no other celebrity has granted more than 200 wishes in the organization’s 42-year history.

Asked why he connects so well with kids, Cena told the AP that kids will "give it to you straight."

"One, I just have nonstop energy. I love energy and I love excitement, and I think kids have the same," he said. "They have such a lust for life, such an honest and genuine attack on every day.

"And their responses, too, their emotions: They don’t hide how they feel," he continued. "You can tell when a child is embarrassed. You can tell when they’re excited. You can tell when they’re happy, and you can tell when something you do makes them happy.... I love that honesty. I think that’s really what connects me to young people, is they’re not trying to shade you with anything. They’ll give it to you straight."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.