John Cena arranged to meet Misha Rohozhyn, a 19-year-old Ukrainian refugee with Down syndrome this past weekend. According to the Wall Street Journal, Cena was touched by the strength and resolve of Rohozhyn and his family, who fled the besieged city of Mariupol, and were profiled by the same publication at the end of May.
In the profile, the Journal mentioned that Misha, who cannot speak, was soothed by his mother, who promised that they would find her son’s hero, Cena, once free from the Russian bombardment. Cena read the article and scheduled a visit to the Dutch town of Huizen, in which the Rohozhyn family had found refuge.
“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 said, referring to the almost-fiction that Misha’s mother had used to calm her distressed son. “I wanted to tell him today personally that his story really touched me.”
Cena’s visit was the first time Misha had smiled since the war began on February 24th. While war is a hellish experience for anyone caught in the crossfire, the bombardment, bombings, noises, and general disruptions of combat can be especially hard on those with the kind of sensory issues that Down syndrome can cause.
Cena sat and ate a traditional Ukrainian honey cake with Misha and his family, while a number of jealous children watched at the window. Cena also brought a WWE Title belt for Misha, as well as other memorabilia.
After getting a tour of Misha’s room, and comparing biceps with each other, Cena returned to London, where he’s currently filming a movie. Cena left Misha with the advice about how life has good days and bad days.
“I hope he gets more good days,” Cena said.
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