WWE Champion Roman Reigns Takes Leave Of Absence To Fight Leukemia
This is so sad…
WWE wrestler and current Universal Championship title holder Roman Reigns is abdicating his championship and walking away from the sport — at least for the time being — to battle leukemia.
The 33-year-old star wrestler and former football player revealed his diagnosis last night in a very emotional segment on Monday Night Raw, and announced that he’ll be taking leave from pro wrestling to focus on his health.
This will now mark the second time Reigns has battled leukemia. In a statement to the stunned crowd on Monday night, the wrestler said:
“My real name is Joe and I’ve been living with leukemia for 11 years and, unfortunately, it’s back and because the leukemia is back, I cannot fulfill my role. I can’t be that fighting champion … I’m not gonna lie—I’ll take every prayer you can send my way, but I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for you to feel bad for me because I have faith.”
Ugh. So heartbreakingly, gut-wrenchingly real.
He continued on, too, telling the crowd about how far he’s come since the first time he battled the disease — and how far he still has to go:
“When I was 22 years old, I was diagnosed with this and very quickly I was able to put it in remission, but I’m not gonna lie, that was the hardest time in my life. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have a home and I had a baby on the way and football was done with me. Do you want to know who gave me a chance? The team that gave me a chance was the WWE,” he said graciously to a tearful crowd. “When I finally made it to the main roster and I was on the road, they put me in front of all of you—the WWE universe…and to be honest y’all have made my dreams come true.”
Here’s a little more from Raw on Monday night (below), where not only fans — but also fellow pro wrestlers — took the leukemia news very hard:
EXCLUSIVE: Moments after announcing that his returning leukemia has forced him to relinquish the Universal Championship, @WWERomanReigns is met with an outpouring of support backstage. #Raw pic.twitter.com/JRv0iYLILJ
— WWE (@WWE) October 23, 2018
So sad… and so scary.
But he’s beaten it once, so here’s hoping Roman Reigns will pull through and win the biggest battle of his life… again!!! Sending good thoughts, all our prayers, and plenty of love!!
[Image via WWE/Twitter.]