During Monday's WWE Raw, John Cena will become the first celebrity to grant 500 wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Cena, 38, WWE's U.S. champion, granted his first wish in 2004. By 2012 he had granted 300, and in 2014, 400. He was the first celebrity to hit both of those numbers.
8-year-old Rocco Lanzer of Queens, N.Y. was diagnosed with leukemia in January and will sit ringside during Monday's “Raw” at Brooklyn's Barclays Center as part of his wish. Cena appeared with Rocco on the Today Show this week and gifted him with tickets to the show in addition to a championship belt and other items.
"I just drop everything," Cena said, according to ESPN. "If I can offer a fantastic experience, I'll be first in line to do my part." The wrestler has used his “Never give up” tagline outside the ring as an inspirational message for sick kids.
"I want them to have an experience that will stay with them to forever," Cena said. "I don't ever want the children or their families to be treated in a way where they feel as if they're up against anything at all.”
WWE has reportedly granted 6,000 wishes in tandem with the foundation since the early 1980s. WWE made a $1 million pledge to Make-A-Wish at an event Friday.
Cena will wrestle WWE world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins Sunday at WWE's SummerSlam, also at the Barclays Center.
- Jeremy Woo