WWE champion Roman Reigns has revealed that he is suffering from leukaemia.
The 33-year-old, real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, publicly revealed live on Raw that he was first diagnosed with the disease 11 years ago, having been inactive as he rose to the top of the WWE. The four-time world champion told his fans on. But he says the leukaemia has returned which means he can no longer "be that fighting champion".
Fans sent messages of support on social media and therefore the hashtag #ThankYouRoman has been trending on Twitter. Roman, a former football game player, created the announcement within the ring at Monday Night Raw.
Addressing the crowd, the 33-year-old said: "Y'all have created my dreams come true."It did not matter if you cheered me otherwise you booed me, you've got always reacted to me and that is the most necessary issue and for that, I even have to mention thank you so much."
Roman Reigns, told his fans that he wanted to make it clear that his announcement wasn't a "retirement speech" He said once he recovers from the cancer of the blood he will be "coming back home "When I do it's not going to be just about titles or being on top. It's about a purpose." He added: "I will beat this and I will be back so you will see me very, very soon."
After his emotional address, he was given a hug by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, his partners from The Shield wrestling group.
Fans and different wrestling stars sent messages of support on Twitter.
Sixteen-time world champion John Cena added: “Courage - strength in the face of pain or grief.’ You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support. #ThankYouRoman #NeverGiveUp.”
Triple H, the WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, was one of the first to embrace Reigns as he returned backstage, where WWE legend Shawn Michaels also hugged him.