John Cena went out of his way to meet a nonverbal teen refugee

In 2019, I reported on John Cena being the celebrity who has granted the most Make-A-Wish wishes. According to Wiki, that is still true. John even kept up wish granting during the pandemic, in the safest way possible. So it’s second nature for John to make wishes come true when he can. Such was the case when he heard the story of Misha Rohozyn. Misha is a 19-year-old Ukrainian refugee. Misha has Down’s Syndrome and is non-verbal. When he and his family had to flee Mariupol after their home was destroyed, Misha didn’t understand the situation. To encourage Misha to leave with as little trauma as possible, his mom made up a story that they were going to meet Misha’s hero: John Cena. I understand this, I’ve stretched the truth in the interest of my kids’ safety and they’ve never been in that kind of danger. I’m sure Misha’s mom did whatever she had to and was willing to deal with the repercussions once they were safe. Only John heard about the story and made the fib a reality. John flew to the family’s new home in Amsterdam to spend the afternoon with Misha.

John Cena enjoyed a “pretty darn special” afternoon with a teenage Ukrainian refugee.

The WWE legend was moved when he heard the story of Misha Rohozyn, who has Down’s Syndrome and is non-verbal, and his mother, who had told her son they were going to find the ‘Blockers’ actor when they had to leave their home in Mariupol following the invasion in Russia, so used his time off during a working trip to Europe to pay the 19 year old a visit in his new home just outside of Amsterdam.

In an emotional video shared by the WWE on YouTube, John said: “When I read about Misha’s story, it reached out to me not just Misha but the story of Misha’s mom as well. I had three days off from work, right at the time I read this story, and I’m an hour away by air, so that turned into ‘We’re going’.

John dressed in his signature ‘Respect Earn It’ T-shirt, denim shorts, yellow armbands and baseball cap to greet Misha and his mother, but quickly handed over his shirt and hand, along with a WWE championship belt to his young fan.

He said: “Misha’s ability to embrace resistance, that’s extraordinary. Those words never give up, we’ve all thought about those in our lives, they’re very powerful. I think Misha’s a great example– Misha’s mom – they’re two great examples of how persistence can lead to joy, even though the toughest of times.”

[From Socialite Life]

I realize I am completely biased, but what got to me the most in this story is that John kept throwing the narrative back to center on Misha’s mom. He gets that as incredible as his response was, he took a one-hour flight to Amsterdam. Misha’s mom, however, had to get her family out of a war-torn country safely. She probably hated lying to Misha and would’ve done anything not to disappoint him. Who knows if he’d believe her the next time? Or if his heart was broken that his hero didn’t show up. In the video posted below you can hear Misha’s mom openly sobbing. She’s so grateful to John allowing her to keep her word to her scared son. She told John at the end of the video that he “has a very big heart.” Which he does. And she is incredibly brave, and this is such a lovely story with a very sweet ending.

It’s hard to gauge sincerity in a celebrity, but I feel like this stuff matters to John. Yes, he gets publicity for it, but I don’t think that’s his motivation. I think there are stars who figure out how they can market their act-of-kindness even before it’s set up. If good is done, I shouldn’t nitpick the motivation, I realize, but my point is that the sense I get from John is his first thought is about the person receiving his generosity. And in this case, he understood that it was Misha’s desire to see him, but his mom was just as deserving of something amazing at this tragic time. She secured their safety but to see her family happy as well was heart-warming to watch. And now Misha gets to wear his John Cena gear and enjoy his life in Amsterdam knowing that John and more importantly his mom have his back.

Photo credit: Avalon Red and YouTube

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40 Responses to “John Cena went out of his way to meet a nonverbal teen refugee”

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  1. TheOriginalMia says:

    Incredibly kind gesture.

  2. Diffraction says:

    Great – I’m crying at 6:30 in the morning because of John Cena!

    Seriously, though, what a great story. I’m so glad Mischa and his family are safe and John made Mischa’s mom’s fib come true.

  3. Hic says:

    In a world where being crappy is so easy, it’s great to see small acts of kindness.

  4. Princess Peach says:

    Amazing! What a wonderful thing to do for this family.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I know. They showcased him on CBS This Morning earlier this week. The way Cena interacted with him is so touching. Cena has a heart of gold!! He is such a kind man; a king of kindness and empathy, a true hero in every sense of the word.

      I won’t watch the video Hecate graciously supplied as I couldn’t stop crying when it I first saw it.

  5. SarahCS says:

    Ok I’m sobbing into my lunch here and I have another Teams call in 8 minutes. Should have kept this for later.

    Keep up the good work John and thanks for sharing this story.

  6. Meghan says:

    I stopped watching wrestling right before he became a thing and I absolutely hated him and his shtick until I started watching Total Divas and Total Bella. His first wife put him through the wringer so he’s got some hang-ups in relationships and what they showed in the beginning with him and Nikki was… weird. He made her sign a sort of NDA/contract/rules for her to move in with him, but as time went on he worked with Nikki to get through some of his issues and to meet her halfway, so I started liking him more.

    He just seems like he cares. Heck, I want to meet the dude. He’s worked hard to get where he is and while he wants to protect the $$ he has earned, he wants to help people and make people happy. He seems like a good dude.

    • Cheryl says:

      I always loved him on TB too. Yeah he was eccentric a lot of the times, but I did appreciate that he was always open and honest about who he was and what he was about with Nikki. There’s nothing I dislike more than people who have to put on that shiny veneer and pretend like they are such amazing flawless people.

  7. Imogen says:

    More people like this in the world please ..

  8. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Great now I’m sobbing. I wish this family every happiness and peace in their new home.

  9. Emme says:

    Kind man, golden heart 💛

  10. K-Peace says:

    Wonderful story. I hope that John also donated some money to this family to help them get set up in their new life. It’s not like he would even miss, say, $50,000 from his bank account but it would make a huge difference to a refugee family like Mischa’s. (I know if i were a multi-millionaire i would be helping out Ukrainian refugees as much as possible. When you have more money than you could possibly ever need, how could you not?)

  11. Ariel says:

    I cried in bed reading this story this morning. Then i cried on the way to work, relaying the story to my boyfriend as he was dropping me off.
    What an incredibly decent thing to do.

  12. notasugarhere says:

    Nothing to admire about Cena, this is all PR. This is someone who kisses China’s ass constantly. Did an official video apologizing to China, in Mandarin, for saying Taiwan was an independent country. Went on to say of course it is really part of China. He wants his movies to keep being shown in China and to make money off the Chinese market. All about his personal bottom line and PR.

    • shanaynay says:


    • manda says:

      Also, he is scientologist, isn’t he? I just look at all them with a side-eye, more so in the last few years. I guess being scientologist doesn’t prevent you from being kind to people, but just knowing their views on things makes it hard for me to not question what they’re really thinking

    • Carrot says:

      @notasugarhere, what you said, sure. It’s PR. AND it’s really incredibly decent and kind. John Cena showed up. He could have done nothing. He could have sent an autograph. He could have sent a gift. He could’ve had a zoom meet. Instead he showed up and he helped.

      • AMA1977 says:

        Agree, Carrot. How many celebrities do absolutely nothing for others? John Cena may not be perfect, but he gave this family a once-in-a-lifetime experience at an incredibly difficult time AND made Misha’s mom look like the hero she is to her son. I can’t fault him for that and don’t understand the impulse to insist that everyone conform to one’s personal ideals of perfection before giving any appreciation for what they have to give.

    • tealily says:

      I absolutely read that as “Chyna.”

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      He’s made A LOT of sick little kids very happy. That matters.

    • notasugarhere says:

      He’s using disabled and sick children for PR. Inexcusable.

  13. Shannon says:

    I’m not crying YOU’RE crying

  14. Jferber says:

    Love it and love him.

  15. Lauren42 says:

    This is awesome. I’d like to think that if I was a popular celebrity, this is what I’d find fulfillment doing. It didn’t take much effort on his part but Misha will remember it forever. <3

  16. GoldenMom says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, a genuine act of kindness in a messed up time…excellent way to begin the day! The flowing tears are a little awkward, but crying for the nicest reasons. Well done John Cena!

  17. Bluenoser says:

    I did not know that a story about Jon Cena could make me cry. But here I am, tears welling, trying not to sob at his kindness.

  18. tealily says:

    Holy cow, I didn’t expect to be moved by this but I’m crying. My heart goes out to all Ukranians.

  19. BeanieBean says:

    This was really sweet. And there was cake!

  20. Case says:

    I honestly get major ick from Cena and always thought he seemed narcissistic and fake.

    Separate from that, this is a lovely gesture and I appreciate whenever celebrities make quality time for their fans.

  21. blairski says:

    Celebrities can be problematic and also do great things. The fact that he made this gesture, but that it’s also the same person who tops the Make-A-Wish list, reinforces that this is someone who is committed to using their celebrity for good, and I appreciate that.

  22. Melissa says:

    You never have the full picture with regard to famous folks, but John Cena seems like a genuinely good and caring person.

  23. John Cena is not a GHOUL says:

    This is such a sweet story! We need to see more kindness like this in this world!

  24. Christine says:

    When I saw this reported, I cried, and not cute tears. It’s just one of the kindest things I’ve ever seen a celeb take part in.

    ETA: I don’t think I have ever watched anything with John Cena, I am going to rectify that immediately.