Roman Reigns is battling leukaemia

Roman Reigns is battling leukaemia

Roman Reigns is battling leukaemia.
The WWE superstar – whose real name is Joe Anoa’i – relinquished the Universal Championship on Monday Night Raw (22.10.18) after an emotional speech in which he revealed the heartbreaking news, 11 years after he was first diagnosed with leukaemia.
Addressing the audience, he said: "I feel like I owe everyone an apology. For months, maybe even a whole year, I’ve come out here as Roman Reigns and said I’d come out here every week, that I’d be a fighting champion, that I was going to be consistent, that I was going to be a workhorse – but that’s all lies.
"It’s a lie because the reality is, my real name is Joe and I’ve been living with leukaemia for 11 years and unfortunately it’s back."
The 33-year-old star – who was embraced by his Shield teammates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins after making the announcement – admitted he would "take every prayer" from his fans at such a difficult time.
But he also insisted he didn’t want any "sympathy" because he has faith that he will overcome the illness.
Reigns explained that he was first diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 22 – when he was jobless, with no money or home and "a baby on the way" – but "very quickly" it was put in remission.
Insisting he will be back in a WWE ring again, he added: "Life’s not always fair, it’s not all peaches and cream. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball.
"And right now, the best thing for me is to go home, focus on my family and my health.
"But I want to make one thing clear – by no means is this a retirement speech. Because once I’m done whipping leukaemia’s ass I’m coming back home."
WWE confirmed the sad news on its official website, and released a statement announcing that Reigns would be "taking a leave of absence" from the company.
It added: "Reigns is taking his battle with leukaemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease."
There has been an outpouring of emotion and support from Reigns’ fellow WWE superstars and fans, including John Cena who tweeted a heartfelt message.
He wrote: "’Courage – strength in the face of pain or grief.’ You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support. #ThankYouRoman #NeverGiveUp (sic)"