23:48 GMT28 November 2020
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    Three-time WWE champion Roman Reigns has revealed during the Raw opening that the disease he’s been living with for 11 years is back and is forcing him to stay away from the ring for some time. In an emotional address, he dropped his tough-guy WWE persona and stepped out as a real-life Joe who has to battle cancer.

    The Universal champion in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Roman Reigns has dropped his persona to tell fighting fans that he’s taking a break in his career because of leukemia. He addressed the crowd at Raw opening as Joe Anoaʻi with an emotional story of his battle with cancer, he’s been living with for 11 years. The disease has returned after years of remission since 2008 and has forced him out to relinquish my Universal Championship for some time.

    ​"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 leukemia for 11 years and unfortunately it's back,” he told the WWE Universe in his moving yet optimistic address.

    The wrestler, who wants to focus on his health and family for some time, made it clear that this was “by no means a retirement speech,” as he promised to get back to “swing for the fences.”

    “I will beat this, and I will be back, so you will see me very, very soon,” he claimed.

    The WWE confirmed the announcement with a public statement reading “Reigns is taking his battle with leukemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease.”

    READ MORE: Clinical Tests to be Launched for Therapeutic Leukemia Vaccine

    The relations between Anoaʻi, a former American football player signed by the WWE in 2010, and some wrestling fans is by no means unclouded, as many disliked his character, but the WWE Universe met  his revelations with an outpouring of support.

    Anoaʻi’s superstar colleagues, who are usually spotted playing tough-guy in and out of the ring, have sent their love to the wrestler.

    ​The hashtags #ThankYouRoman и #FightRoman are also trending on Twitter as users from around the world post their words of support in different languages and wish him luck taking on his adversary.

    ​Some shared their personal stories of the battle with leukemia.


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    leukemia, social media reactions, wrestling, Twitter, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Roman Reigns, US
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