John Cena meets teenager and his mother after their journey out of Ukraine
Veteran WWE Superstar John Cena made a special trip to the Netherlands this past Saturday to meet a young fan who fled Ukraine with his mother when the Russia-Ukraine conflict picked up several weeks back. The fan also sent a message to Alexa Bliss.
As seen in the video below, Ukrainian teenager Misha Rohozhyn and his mother Liana met Cena in Huizen, a town outside of Amsterdam, on June 5. Misha and his family left Mariupol, one of the hardest hit cities, when their home was destroyed during the ongoing conflict.
To motivate Misha to continue the journey across Europe to safety, Misha’s mother told him that they were going to find Cena. The WWE Legend read about their story, and changed his plans to go meet them as he was just a one-hour flight away, already in London, England for movie work.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 19 year old Misha has Down syndrome, and is non-verbal. After arriving in the Netherlands last month, Misha stayed in his bedroom as he was disoriented by his new surroundings, and getting angry with his mother that they hadn’t found Cena yet.
Misha’s mother told The Journal that Saturday was among the first times Misha had smiled since the war began. It was also noted that Misha prepared for Cena all morning, tidying his room and preparing his own version of Cena’s outfit.
“I didn’t want a son to think of his mom in a different light just because she did whatever she had to do to get him to safety,” Cena told WSJ. “I wanted to tell him today personally that his story really touched me.”
Cena noted in the video how he took advantage of some time off from filming and immediately decided to make the trip.
“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. “I happened to have 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!’ 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.”
Cena presented Misha with the WWE merchandise that he wore to the visit, along with a replica WWE Title belt and other items.
“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. I think Misha’s a great example, and Misha’s mom, they’re two great examples of how persistence can lead to joy, even through the toughest of times.”
Before leaving, Cena thanked Misha for giving him strength.
“Today was a wonderful adventure, in which I got to meet a wonderful new friend. Thank you for giving me the strength,” Cena told him.
Cena also met some of Misha’s family members while he was there, and spent time with a group of children from Mariupol who are being hosted by Dutch care provider ISZA Thuiszorg. After eating traditional Ukrainian honey cake with Misha and his mother, Cena went into a larger room with the other children, and Misha, to play blocks. Misha constructed a home for Cena.
“How special is today? Yeah, pretty darn special,” Cena said to the camera to end the video.
Cena tweeted about the special visit, and thanked WWE and the Wall Street Journal for making it happen.
“What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Misha and his mother, Liana define #NeverGiveUp. Thank you to the @WSJ and @WWE who helped make this special visit possible,” he wrote.
Misha also asked Cena to help him say hello to Bliss, which you can see in the video below.
Bliss responded and wrote, “Hi Misha !!! [waving hand emoji x 2] sending so many hugs ! Thank you @JohnCena !!! This warms my heart so much”
As noted, Cena is set to return to WWE TV on the June 27 RAW from Laredo, Texas. There is no word yet on what WWE has planned for Cena, but they are currently doing “#CenaMonth” to celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Misha and his mother, Liana define #NeverGiveUp.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) June 7, 2022
— Lexi (Kaufman) Cabrera (@AlexaBliss_WWE) June 7, 2022