CBS/AP October 23, 2018, 6:45 AM WWE star Roman Reigns reveals he has leukemia

Wrestler Roman Reigns attends the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 at Barker Hangar on July 19, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — WWE wrestler Roman Reigns says he will step away from the ring because he has leukemia. The 33-year-old Reigns, whose real name is Joe Anoa'i, made the announcement Monday night to open the episode of "Raw."

He was originally diagnosed in 2008 at age 22, though he quickly went into remission. He's been fighting the disease since.

Anoa'i, who played football at Georgia Tech, has appeared in the last four main events at WrestleMania. The WWE's universal champion said during the announcement that he plans on returning to the ring when he gets healthy.

"Reigns is taking his battle with leukemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease," WWE said in a statement.

CBSSports.com's Pete Blackburn reports Anoa'i was joined by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in an emotional gathering at the event.

There's no brotherhood greater.#Raw @WWERomanReigns @TheDeanAmbrose @WWERollins pic.twitter.com/QHFemFd9A5

— WWE (@WWE) October 23, 2018

WWE stars sent well wishes to Anoa'i on social media.

@WWERomanReigns My Family And I Are Thinking Of You And Are Keeping You In Our Prayers! We Are Here For You! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) October 23, 2018

Thank you @WWERomanReigns, we are with you! #ThankYouRoman #RAW

— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) October 23, 2018

♥️ THANKYOU, @WWERomanReigns. Praying for you and your family.

— Nattie (@NatbyNature) October 23, 2018

#ThankYouRoman

— Dean Muhtadi (@MojoRawleyWWE) October 23, 2018

Thank you Roman 🙌 my love and prayers go out to you and your family 💜 we are with you!

— Daria Berenato (@SonyaDevilleWWE) October 23, 2018

If there's anyone that can beat this, it's @WWERomanReigns. Thank you for everything. @WWE

— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@MustafaAliWWE) October 23, 2018

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