John Cena meets teen with Down syndrome who fled Ukraine during war
WWE superstar and actor John Cena played dozens of roles across the big screen.
No role was greater than the one he played for Ukrainian teenager Misha Rohozhyn.
Rohozhyn, who has Down syndrome and is unable to speak, fled Ukraine alongside his mother Liana shortly after Russia launched its invasion of the country in February, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In an effort to motivate her son to leave the war-torn country, Liana told Misha that the family was going to look for Cena.
The 19-year-old obliged and the family escaped to the Netherlands. Three months after the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, Misha met his idol.
In a video released by the WWE, Cena stepped out of his car in his iconic green WWE shirt, hat and wristbands to embrace the teen.
“I’ve come a very long way to see you,” the “Peacemaker” actor told Misha.
Cena was in the process of filming in London when he read about the Rohozhyn’s journey across Europe, according to the WSJ.
He jumped on the roughly one-hour flight to meet the teen where they spent time eating cake and building blocks. Cena called the surprise “a special afternoon when it comes to the new friends I was able to meet.”
“Misha’s ability to embrace persistence. That’s extraordinary,” Cena said. “Those words “Never Give Up”— we’ve all thought about those in our life. They’re very powerful. They’re (Misha and Liana) two great examples of how persistence can lead to joy even through the toughest of times.”
Cena, who has granted the most wishes at the Make-A-Wish foundation with 650, gave Misha the shirt off his back and a replica WWE championship as a parting gift.
“This was a wonderful adventure in which I got to meet a wonderful new friend,” Cena told Misha through a translator. “Thank you for giving me strength.”
Misha had one last request — for Cena to say hello on his behalf to WWE superstar Alexa Bliss.
The wrestler, who saw the viral video, responded to the WWE megafan.