Fame for Mexican American WWE wrestler Rey Mysterio goes beyond the legions of cheering fans and major endorsements. For Mysterio, popularity has afforded him the opportunity to touch the lives of children across the country. With an ongoing partnership between the WWE and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, kids who are faced with life-threatening illnesses are granted a wish. Sometimes that wish is to meet their favorite professional wrestler Rey Mysterio.
EXTRA: When you find out there is a kid who wants to use his or her wish to meet you, how does that make you feel?
Rey Mysterio: It breaks my heart. It’s overwhelming, but I live for it. It’s hard to keep track with how many I’ve done. But I ask God to give me the strength to walk in there with a smile and make that child’s wish come true. I want them to smile with me.
What do you try to leave with these kids after you meet them?
I think the connection is the most important part. I want to leave an impact. I want them to think when they met Rey Mysterio it was exactly what they thought it would be or better [than] they imagined. I try to go out of my way to make that day or those couple of hours memorable so they can keep that with them for the rest of their lives.
How do you handle all these visits on an emotional level?
It takes time to sometimes detach myself from reality. Many times I bring these stories home and share them with my kids and my wife. I like for them to understand how we can never take life for granted and that we have to live day to day. We complain about small things in life, but there are children out there suffering from serious illnesses who wake up with a smile on their face every day.
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