New Jersey Devils: Brian Boyle Should Reach Out To Roman Reigns

SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 19: Wrestler Roman Reigns attends the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 at Barker Hangar on July 19, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 19: Wrestler Roman Reigns attends the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 at Barker Hangar on July 19, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) /

One of the biggest stars in sports entertainment shocked the world when he announced he was fighting Leukemia. One of the members of the New Jersey Devils knows exactly what that is like.

Last year, the unthinkable happened to the newest member of the New Jersey Devils family. Before the team even took the ice, we learned that 32-year-old Brian Boyle would now be fighting a whole different battle. A guy that was known as a fighter on the ice, became the greatest fighter off the ice. He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. Immediately, he became a hero for all NHL players. During Hockey Fights Cancer night, a majority of the league named Boyle when they asked who they were fighting for. It was a few moments of bliss on an otherwise terrible journey.

That journey all started with the announcement. From there, we didn’t hear from Boyle for a couple weeks. Well, another athlete just made his announcement that he was dealing with the same thing. This one happened in front of the world.

I get that not a lot of you will understand who this person is. The wrestling community is tight knit. They aren’t always the most popular, and they beg and plead for their significant other, their friends and their family to just give it a chance. Sound familiar? It’s just like the hockey community.

The man in that video is Roman Reigns. He is the champion of the “RAW” brand of World Wrestling Entertainment. He’s basically their Alex Ovechkin right now.

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He was forced to relinquish his championship due to this announcement, that he himself was dealing with a re-occurrence of leukemia. Very few people knew about Reign’s past with cancer. He may have a past with the disease, but this is different. He’s a star athlete now. His cancer fight will become a bookmark on his life for the entire world.

So, one might ask how these two situations are similar. Obviously, everyone’s cancer diagnosis is different. It forces a person to stare their mortality in the face. That’s something that can’t be explained in an article on a sports website. What makes this different is the public eye these athletes share, and the physical toll being an athlete takes.

Boyle and Reigns can learn from each other. Right now, Boyle has a lot to teach Reigns, who’s real name is Joe Anoa’i. He can teach him how to deal with the first few weeks after everyone knows. He can let him know what it’s like to try and work out through a leukemia diagnosis. Boyle can let Reigns know how he can continue to do the one thing he loves most, through the scariest time of his life.

Boyle is still fighting his leukemia diagnosis more than a year after the news broke. His particular form of the disease takes a long time to go into remission. We haven’t gotten the specific form of leukemia that Reigns is fighting, but either way it’s extremely relatable. Boyle is dealing with an NHL season, a young family, and his own illness. However, him taking on this fight front and center means he has certain requirements. He is a hero now. When a fellow man, an athlete no less, is dealing with a similar situation, his wisdom can help that man.

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It may sound crazy, but these two can help each other. Going through something this hard, it helps to have someone who literally feels your pain. Even though this would start feeling like Boyle helping out his fellow man, it could end up helping Boyle just as much.