NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
A Ukrainian teenager reunited with his idol, famed WWE star and actor John Cena, this weekend after his mother used the fantasy of meeting him as a motivational tool to flee the war-torn city of Mariupol.
Liana Rohozhyna, the mother of Misha Rohozhyn, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome who can’t speak, has repeatedly told her son they were constantly traveling around Ukraine to find John Cena — when in reality the family was on fleeing a devastating war front and a Russian siege of their hometown, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Misha is an example of approaching your dream by believing in it,” she said, according to the report.
The family’s journey was not easy, as they reportedly crossed minefields, came into contact with Russian soldiers, faced artillery attacks and crossed several national borders.
MARIUPOL OFFICIALS FEAR AN OUTBREAK THROUGH INFECTED WATER SUPPLY COULD KILL THOUSANDS
But the idea of meeting the legendary wrestler motivated the teenager to keep going.
Mischa, a nonverbal teenager with Down syndrome, did not understand why his family had to flee Mariupol this year.
To placate him, his mother told him they were traveling to meet John Cena.
Cena heard it… and went to Amsterdam to obey him.
Simply brilliant. pic.twitter.com/vix2OhkXZs
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) June 11, 2022
According to the report, Misha and his mother safely arrived in the Netherlands last month, but they’ve still never fulfilled the motivational fantasy of meeting Cena.
MORE THAN 1,000 FIGHTERS FROM MARIUPOL, UKRAINE TRANSFERRED TO RUSSIA FOR “EXAMINATION”: REPORT
On Saturday, that fantasy became a reality when the hulking superstar paid Misha and his mum a visit to their new home in Huizen.
“I didn’t want a son to see his mother in a different light just because she did everything to keep him safe,” Cena said, according to the WSJ.
Cena gave Misha a hat and t-shirt with his WWE mantras on it, and the two ate a Ukrainian honey cake.
“If I have cake, will Misha have cake with me?” Cena asked the family through a translator, the WSJ reported. Mischa accepted excitedly.
RUSSIA CLAIMS THE HIGHER HAND IN EASTERN UKRAINE, BUT ANALYSTS RECOMMEND PROGRESS ‘FREE’, TURN ‘DOWN’
Seeing his idol was the first time Misha smiled since the start of the war, Rohozhyna told the outlet.
She also said that Misha’s room in her Ukrainian home was covered in Cena’s wrestling posters.
However, that house became the target of Russian mortar fire on February 24, the first day of the Ukrainian-Russian War, and the two were forced to flee. They arrived at an animal shelter but had to leave after the power went out, the WSJ reported.
JOHN CENA TALKS ABOUT POSSIBLE RETURN TO WWE FOR ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY
According to the report, Misha was having a panic attack, which is why his mother decided against hiding in an underground facility. The two stayed at a day center that may have been subject to Russian artillery attacks before fleeing to the Netherlands.
Before ending Saturday’s visit, Cena made Misha wear a WWE Championship belt and gave encouragement to the family.
“I tried to let it happen [Misha] I know today that we have good days and bad days on every trip,” Cena said Saturday afternoon, according to the report. “I hope he gets more good ones.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“I wanted to tell him personally today that I was very touched by his story,” the wrestler added.
Cena was visiting family from London where he was filming.
Mariupol remains under Russian control after they successfully captured it last month.