Misha Rohozhyn and his family recently fled Mariupol after their home was destroyed amid the ongoing war.
Liana Rohozhyn took her son, who has Down syndrome and is nonverbal, to see his hero, which brought a joyous and tearful response from Misha.
"When I read about Misha's story, it reached out to me. Not just Misha's story but Misha's mom as well," Cena said in an interview with WWE.
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Cena was already in Europe for work and said he knew he had to make the trip quick to Amsterdam, where Misha and his family have relocated to just outside the city.
"Having three days off of work and being an hour away by air it turned immediately into, 'We're going,'" he said.
The superstar spent the afternoon with Misha building blocks, eating cake and getting him decked out in Cena's "You Can't See Me" gear. He even gave Misha his own replica WWE championship belt.
"Misha's ability to embrace persistence. That's extraordinary. Those words 'never give up,' we've all thought about those in our life, they're very powerful and I think Misha is a great example," Cena said. "Misha's mom, they're two great examples of how persistence can lead to joy even during the toughest of times."