Circle of Champions: Wishes come true for John Cena fan, Joshua
RALEIGH, N.C. -- In the Circle of Champions' VIP suite inside the RBC Center, John Cena literally took the words out of the mouth of 6-year-old Joshua DeLange Monday night.
Accompanied by his parents, Don and Laurie, the boy from Stockton, Calif., was in high spirits in his luxury suite as he awaited to meet Cena for his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and WWE. Joshua, wearing a John Cena T-shirt, khakis and a blue Make-A-Wish baseball cap, was talkative. Then, it happened. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound, three-time WWE Champion strolled into the room. Joshua glanced up and down in awe. The "True Champ" couldn't believe his eyes.
Cena posed for pictures with the Circle of Champions honoree, signed autographs, gave out wristbands, headbands, T-shirts, and the official "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect" cap. And if that wasn't enough, Cena gave away something extra.
"I usually throw out my hat before every match, but I'll give you this one, too," Cena said, as he took the cap off his head and handed it to an enthusiastic Joshua.
For Cena, a kid becoming awestruck when meeting him is normal, but he'll be the first to admit that he's more humbled by the Circle of Champions honorees for choosing him as the person to make their wish come true.
"You have to put yourself in the kids' shoes. Make-A-Wish is so generous in granting the one wish that a kid wants. Then, they find out that it's really coming true. Sometimes it's overwhelming," said the Chain Gang Commander. "The glory of meeting wish kids is they get alone time with me where they can be reserved, but later on, when he or she is in front of tens of thousands of people, they'll be just as berserk as anyone. Whether they're shy or not, they'll remember everything that's going to happen."
Cena later made a deal with Joshua that, he'll "have to promise to get loud and show a lot of excitement during tonight's show." Without hesitation, Joshua agreed.
"That's an easy deal. When you get him in front of that live crowd, and the lights go out, I know there's no way he won't enjoy tonight's show. He was just saving it for tonight," Cena explained with a smile.
After seeing the smile on their son's face after meeting Cena, Donald and Laurie agreed that this moment will live on in Joshua's mind.
"It was a breathtaking experience that Joshua was able to meet someone he looked up to in person. This will continue to motivate and inspire him," Donald explained as he glanced at his happy son. "It's amazing, because WWE and Make-A-Wish went over and beyond. I wasn't expecting the amount of effort they put in. On a scale of 1 to 10, and you said 10 was the greatest rating, it's well over that. I can't put a number on [what happened today]."