On October 23, 2018, the WWE universe received distressing news when superstar Roman Reigns declared he was battling with leukemia. For more than four months, his struggle to overcome the disease effects continued until he made his appearance on Monday Night Raw just before Wrestlemania 35.
Watched by millions across the world, Reigns made his return to WWE an impactful one. His emotional speech in October had provoked massive tears among the audience.
On Monday, there were cheers and smiles as Reigns announced from the ring once again that the Big Dog was back.
"There is no other fan base like you guys. I said this before I'm a man of faith and I believe in God that he has favored me, looked after me but I'm not going to lie..before my announcement [about leukemia], I was terrified.
Almost a year later, Roman Reigns stands as not just a survivor but an advocate to spreading awareness on this devastating form of bloodvcancer. As September is Leukemia Awareness month, here is a look back at all that Roman has done to knock leukemia out of the ring.
The Roman Reigns T-shirt that goes a long way:
When Roman Reigns returned to WWE, a new authentic shirt was made in his honor for overcoming his battle with leukemia. This shirt is more than something to wear to support your favorite WWE Superstar as it is now being used to support other people who are victims of the illness.
Tewnty per cent of the sales made from this shirt are donated to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help their fight to find a cure for cancer. The society focuses on creating treatments for Hodgkin's Disease, lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia to help patients recover faster and go back to living a healthier lifestyle. Another goal of this organization is to provide its patients and their families with the proper living conditions they need to feel comfortable enough to go through the full treatment and have more hope throughout the process.
WWE 2K20 highlights the awareness of blood cancers:
In a campaign featuring Reigns, video game publisher 2K has partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to heighten awareness around blood cancers. The game will feature "Bi" Dog" Reigns - the ring name of Leati Joseph Anoa'i - and his WWE career. Anoa'i announced last October that his previously undisclosed leukemia had returned after 11 years, but that he was back in remission and would resume working. The global partnership corresponds with 2K's release of professional wrestling video game WWE 2K20, slated for Oct. 22.
Inspiring hospital visits:
The Big Dog underwent a four-month battle with the terrible illness before his miraculous comeback last. During his treatment the four-time world champion got to meet a lot of children who were struck by pediatric cancer and inspired him to pull through.
"I've been able to visit so many different pediatric children's hospitals, build relationships with the children, and spread that message 'They're the superstar, they're my biggest heroes,' and it's not just me giving to them - it's those kids giving to me," he said.
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