To motivate Misha on their journey to safety, the teen's mother told him they were going to find Cena.
John Cena recently visited a super fan whose family fled Mariupol, a city in Ukraine, after their home was destroyed by Russian forces. His mother Liana Rohozhyn had to convince 19-year-old Misha Rohozhyn, who is nonverbal and has Down syndrome, that the family needed to leave their home to escape the war in Ukraine. The sudden shift agitated him and his mother needed to come up with something to alleviate his distress. In a WWE video, she explained that she told her son they had to leave home and travel through Europe to meet his hero, John Cena as a way to calm him. The WWE star and actor ended up actually meeting the superfan in Amsterdam where the family had resettled. The 45-year-old was in Europe for work and used a break in his schedule to fly to where Misha was to make the young man's dream come true.
Amidst of his hectic work schedule, @JohnCena visited Netherlands to meet Misha Rohozhyn, a boy with Down syndrome who fled the war in Ukraine with his mother.— Sportskeeda Wrestling (@SKWrestling_) June 7, 2022
His mother said it was the first time Misha smiled in a long time ❤️#WWE #WWERaw #JohnCena pic.twitter.com/H5I338ET8K
“When I read about Misha’s story, it reached out to me — not just Misha’s story, but the story of Misha’s mom as well,” Cena said in the video posted by WWE. “Having three days off from work right at the time when I read this story, and being an hour away by air, it turned immediately into, ‘We’re going.’”
He went on, “And that means spending an afternoon building blocks and eating cake. That’s a special afternoon when it comes to the new friends I was able to meet.”
#repost @ukraine.ua— Radio Free Ukraine (@radioukraine1) June 11, 2022
Ukrainian teenager 🇺🇦 with Down syndrome Misha Rohozhyn escaped besieged Mariupol only because his mother wove a motivational fantasy that his wrestler-hero @johncena 💪 will meet him in a safe place.
The two met up on June 5 and spent time together building blocks, eating cake, and flexing their biceps. Cena even gifted Misha a replica WWE championship belt as well as a green John Cena t-shirt that said, "Respect. Never Give Up. Earn it." In the video, he tells the young man, “I’ve come a long way to see you. I’ve heard many things about you.” Cena also said, "Misha's ability to embrace persistence — that's extraordinary. Those words 'never give up,' we've all thought about those in our life, they're very powerful and I think Misha is a great example." Towards the end of the clip, Liana thanks Cena for his thoughtfulness in coming to meet her son, saying, “John, thank you. You have a big heart.” After the sweet encounter, the wrestling champion tweeted the video with the caption, "What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Misha and his mother, Liana define #NeverGiveUp."
Watch the full video below: