Born with a skeletal malformation that has led to multiple medical complications over the years, Maximus has endured a lot in his young life. Dozens of surgeries. Daily medications. Countless hospital visits. A lifetime of medical vigilence. Yet the 12-year-old from Hartford, Wisconsin has stayed positive through it all thanks to his idol, WWE Superstar John Cena.
Inspired by the example set by the 14-time World Champion, Maximus has taken Cena's message of Never Give Up to heart. When a problem with his hydrocephalus shunt led to nine separate surgeries in as many months, his hero kept Maximus focused on making it through his challenges. When orthopedic surgeries to restore his ability to walk meant his wish to go to WrestleMania 29 needed to be put on hold, Maximus did what had to be done to get better. The trip was well worth the wait.
Maximus and 30 other wish kids from around the country were greeted as VIP guests for WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana. On Friday night, they headed to the Hard Rock Café on Bourbon Street for dinner and an autograph signing with WWE Superstars Sheamus and Big Show, who spent time joking with Maximus, posing for pictures and signing autographs. On Saturday afternoon, they attended a special pizza party, where they met WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio and current Divas Champion AJ Lee.
Before the lunch ended, the wish kids were were thrown into a frenzy when John Cena's theme music erupted from the speakers. The Champ was here to personally induct each wish kid into the WWE's Circle of Champions.
"WrestleMania is a wish," Cena explained to the audience. "This is a room full of very devoted, tough, strong-willed individuals, and that is what WrestleMania is all about. I'm just happy all of you are here to share this."
On Sunday, Maximus and his family enjoyed WrestleMania Axxess — including a unique opportunity to stand inside the ring — before heading to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to have his wish come true at WrestleMania 30. Maximus was thrilled to watch as Cena overcame the combined efforts of the creepy Wyatt Family to defeat Bray Wyatt with his patented finishing move, the Attitude Adjustment.
WWE has been involved with Make-A-Wish since the early 1980s, with a total wish count easily numbering in the thousands. John Cena alone has granted more than 400 wishes in his career, making him the current record holder. It's also the career milestone he's most proud of.
We can't thank the WWE enough for their support!
Wish Granters: Wendy Behling & Sandy Schultz
Sponsors: Snap Fitness, WWE
John Cena is the strongest, coolest guy EVER!