WWE Star Roman Reigns Reveals Battle With Leukemia

Roman Reigns

On Monday night, WWE star Roman Reigns – real name Joe Anoa’i – revealed that he was taking a leave of absence as he battles leukemia.

“Thank you to everyone who’s reached out…I can’t put into words what it means to me.”

The stunning announcement opened “Raw” as Anoa’i revealed that he has battled the disease in the past and that he had been in remission since 2008.

Anoa’i, one of the biggest stars in the WWE, revealed that due to his health, he would be relinquishing the Universal Championship, which he was set to defend in a triple-threat match against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman at the “Crown Jewel” event set to take place next month in Saudi Arabia. “My real name is Joe and I’ve been living with Leukemia for 11 years and unfortunately, it’s back. And because the leukemia is back, I cannot fulfill my role, I can’t be that fighting champion [I said I would be],” Anoa’i announced.

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The 33-year-old Anoa’i, who said his previous bout with the cancer ended his football career, vowed to return to WWE.

“I want to make one thing clear, by no means is this a retirement speech, because after I’m done [beating] Leukemia once again, I’m coming back home.”