International children’s charity Kids Wish Network announced recently that through the generosity of the WWE and other sponsors, Maurice Wilson’s dream of meeting his favorite WWE Superstar, John Cena, has come true.
Kids Wish Network is a Tampa-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.
“Generous Guardian Angel organizations such as the WWE help us make a wonderful difference in the lives of many children every year,” said Anna Lanzatella, executive director of Kids Wish Network. “Kids Wish Network relies on stars like John Cena to help us make dreams become realities for children facing life threatening illnesses every day.”
Eight-year-old Maurice suffers from a condition called hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. He underwent a surgery to implant a shunt at four months old. At the age of three, he suffered a seizure after hitting his head and was rushed into surgery. Maurice was then diagnosed with epilepsy and put on a regimen of daily anti-seizure medications.
When given the opportunity to have a wish granted through Kids Wish Network, Maurice asked to meet his hero, WWE Superstar John Cena. Kids Wish Network arranged for an all expenses paid trip to Atlanta for Maurice and his parents that included accommodations, attractions and meals, as well as the meet-and-greet with John Cena before a WWE event at the Philips Arena.
“It was fabulous,” said Maurice’s mother, Yakymia Wilson. “It was a dream-come-true for Maurice. This is definitely something we never could have given him and we didn’t expect anything as wonderful as this. Everyone everywhere knew who Maurice was and he was really surprised. Everyone gave us the VIP treatment.”
On the day of his wish, Maurice and his family were picked up by an H2 Hummer limousine and driven in style to the Philips Arena. They were escorted backstage and Maurice’s eyes lit up when Cena walked in the room. Cena headed right over to Maurice, shook his hand and the two started talking about wrestling and their shared interest in classic cars. Maurice presented Cena with a T-shirt and a pin for hydrocephalus awareness, while Cena gave Maurice signed posters and pictures along with T-shirts, hats and armbands to match his own. Afterwards, Maurice and his family were seated in the second row for the WWE event and they had a great time watching the action up close.
“I was holding back tears the whole wish,” said Yakymia. “I really appreciate all that you did for my son. Maurice hasn’t stopped talking about it and he’s still wearing one of the hats John Cena gave him. Thank you so much.”
For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.