One of the most touching stories in the sports-adjacent world has gone viral over the past week. It features former WWE superstar John Cena motivating a child to flee war-torn Ukraine.
A family in Mariupol, Ukraine was forced to leave quickly after their home was under threat in the armed conflict. But their son Misha, a nonverbal teenager with Down’s Syndrome, didn’t understand why they were leaving.
So in an effort to motivate Misha to leave, the family told him that they were heading leaving Ukraine to meet John Cena, his favorite wrestler. And sure enough, the WWE star was ready to meet him.
Cena apparently heard the story of what the family was going through and went to Amsterdam to meet them. The video of Misha meeting Cena has gone viral with over five million views on YouTubes, countless articles written on it, and hundreds of thousands of replies.
Here is just a tiny sampling of responses from the wider sports world. Even some of his haters can’t help but respect him for what he did here:
Over the last 15 years John Cena has been one of the most requested athletes for children to meet through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Cena has granted over 700 wishes through the foundation and done community services for many more.
Even though he’s largely transitioned out of professional wrestling, he remains an icon for children everywhere.
What an amazing ending to this story.