Roman Reigns announcing on RAW this past Monday night that he was vacating the WWE Universal Championship due to his battle with leukemia continues to be the talk of the wrestling world. Reigns revealed that he’s been living with leukemia for the past 11 years and it has returned.
Leukemia is a serious form of cancer with an average five-year survival rate (the percentage of patients alive five years after the disease is diagnosed) of 57% in the United States. Reigns has not specified the type of leukemia that he has. There are many types of leukemia, however acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are the most common in young adults.
According to Cancer.org, the total treatment time for ALL is 2 years. Treatment for AML varies depending on if chemotherapy is required, but in total it can be several months to a year.
While Reigns had never publicly revealed his previous battle with leukemia until this week, an article at MLive.com in June of 2015 stated that Reigns was forced to leave the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL because of “a serious illness” before signing with the Canadian Football League. Reigns was released from the Jaguars in August of 2007 before signing with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 2008 and playing for the Eskimos that fall.
Assuming MLive.com’s report is accurate, that would mean that Reigns was out of action for about 10 months, since his last game with the Jaguars was in August of 2007 and he played for the Eskimos in the 2008 CFL season, which started that June.
Reigns was released from Eskimos and retired from professional football in November 2008. He signed his developmental deal with WWE in 2010.
Reigns noted that he has been living with leukemia for 11 years, which would be since 2007, in line with MLive.com’s report of when he left the Jaguars due to the illness. According to WWE, his leukemia had been in remission since late 2008.