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WWE superstar John Cena grants 300th Make-A-Wish
After he left the room, Jonny chanted: "Cena. John Cena. Cena."
Cena is following a WWE tradition of granting wishes. The organization grants about 140 wishes per year between requests to meet WWE Superstars or attend its live shows. The tradition started in the early 1980s with Hulk Hogan being the most requested.
And while these wishes make children with life-threatening medical conditions feel good for the moment, organizers say they also have a lasting effect.
Make-A-Wish CEO David Williams cites cases in which seriously ill children clung to life for weeks and sometimes months in anticipation of the wish. Surveys by his organization found that many doctors and nurses felt the wish had a physical benefit to the patient, and most families said a wish strengthened the entire family at a fragile time.
"They said it was a very much needed boost," Williams said.
The organization has 30,000 volunteers who help carry out the wishes. Corporations, airlines, hotels, and other donors assure that most wish requests are met.
Still, Williams said, "Every year in the U.S., 27,000 are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and the organization serves about 14,000. For every family that we're helping, there's a child that we are not."
As for Cena, "I know this is the entertainment business and there will come a time when I'm not requested, but I'll still be donating my time and money, I love what they do."
John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/jcarucci_ap