31 Days of Impact – Day 15, John Cena
The story of breast cancer is the story of people. Learn about Komen’s impact and work in the fight against breast cancer as told through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, researchers, community health workers and advocates. Read more stories.
JOHN CENA, TAMPA, FLORIDA – Breast Cancer Advocate & WWE Superstar
“I realized first-hand the importance of early detection when it saved my youngest brother’s life.”
“There are more than five million women who watch me on WWE programming each week – now is my chance to give back to them.”
I realized, first-hand, the importance of early detection when it saved my youngest brother’s life. Last November, my brother Sean was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor – he is doing extremely well now, but only because the tumor was caught in time. It was the wakeup call I needed to support a cause I care about.
On the surface, a partnership between the WWE and Susan G. Komen for the Cure may seem odd, but for me it makes perfect sense. My “Rise above Cancer” initiative was my way of reaching out to fans and supporting a cause that directly affects them. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, as well as the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the U.S., and there are more than 5 million women who watch me on WWE programming each week. Similar to the brain cancer my brother was diagnosed with, breast cancer can be a deadly opponent when not treated early. If raising awareness about the importance of early-detection could save more lives, there is nothing that matters more to me.
Each week my fans support me, and now I have a chance to give back to them and support a cause that strikes a chord with all of us. I connected with Ronni Cohen-Boyar, the executive director of Komen’s Massachusetts Affiliate, and a 2-time breast cancer survivor herself. I remember she told me that while they are wrestling with cancer, and fighting for a cure, I could do something special for my fans by establishing this partnership.
This year, I unveiled my Susan G. Komen for the Cure pink and black ring gear for the first time at the TD Garden during the “Night of Champions” pay-per-view event, and will continue to proudly display my special-edition gear throughout the month of October to support Susan G. Komen’s mission to eradicate breast cancer. WWE has also used its global reach to promote Susan G. Komen and Breast Cancer Awareness month through all of its assets including on-air, in-venue and through its extensive digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Tout. The entire WWE organization has gotten behind this partnership with everything from the addition of a pink ring rope and a joint WWE/Susan G. Komen for the Cure logo on our entrance ramp, to the production of PSAs played during our broadcasts and recognizing breast cancer survivors in attendance at our live events.
I always felt that my willingness and drive to support my fans stemmed from the way I was raised. As the second-oldest of five boys, the concept of loyalty was ingrained in all of us at a young age. I learned the importance of teamwork and giving back, and that’s truly been a contributing factor to who I am today.
You can write checks, and that’s always well-appreciated, but you can also donate a very valuable asset, and that’s time. Giving someone your time speaks volumes and giving back in that way is something that will never stop for me.
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About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.