WWE wrestler John Cena has met with over 400 people in coordination with the Make a Wish Foundation, and last month, Kate Morrison, of Mountoursville, was one of those lucky kids to have her wish granted.
Morrison was born with cerebral palsy and has profound hearing loss. Starting her wrestling obsession at the age of 3, Morrison spent her childhood watching the sport with her grandfather.
"It was their thing they always did together," her mother Cathy Morrison said.
Kate Morrison poses for photos with her idol WWE wrestler John Cena before sitting ringside for his victory at the Wells Fargo Center June 22 as part of Make a Wish Foundation’s goal to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Last year Kate was referred to the Make a Wish Foundation and her wish was granted to meet Cena.
When Cathy pauses to recall the exact date they were sent to Philadelphia in a stretch limo stocked with her favorite snacks, an enthusiastic Kate doesn't skip a beat, chiming in with "June 22." That's a date she will not forget.
When the Morrison family arrived at the Wells Fargo Center, which was hosting a WWE Live event that night featuring Cena, they were escorted into the locker room.
Giggling like any girl with a giant crush would, Kate says she waited only five minutes to meet her idol. She agrees it was the longest five minutes of her life.
The detail she keeps repeating to anyone who will listen was how big his hands are. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 251-pound champion sat with Kate and her family for about half an hour before the fight and signed a heap of gifts from hats to necklaces and photos. He even signed the bag everything came in.
Kate came baring a gift for Cena as well. Being a devoted enthusiast, she knows that Cena is a Boston Celtics fan. So she brought him a hat supporting his favorite team.
"How did you know?" Cena joked with her.
The professional wrestler talked to Kate for a while about bullying. Cena has said he was bullied a lot as a kid and started lifting weights because of it.
Kate's favorite thing about Cena is that he was bullied and stood up for himself. She can relate. Kate was bullied in school because of her condition. In fact, due to bullying she finished her junior year at home and will attend a new high school in the fall.
"He was unbelievably sweet and very down to earth," Cathy said. "He has the biggest heart you could ever imagine."
When Cena left to prepare for his fight, the Morrisons were seated in the second row of the arena to watch the match. Kate got heated during the show when the people seated next to her were cheering against Cena while he was fighting.
"I was screaming so loud I hurt my throat," she said.
The smile never leaving her face, Kate exclaimed that the experience was awesome.
"It was so fun."
Cena won that night's match, giving Kate a great finish to an unforgettable day.
Cena has granted more wishes than any other celebrity in the history of Make a Wish and was honored by the foundation with the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award in 2009.
Cathy says the professional wrestler's motto "Never Give Up" means a lot to Kate and her family.
"He never gives up and she doesn't either."