Few things in life are scarier than learning has a brain tumor. When the news comes just months before the birth of their first child, so it may be almost incomprehensible, especially for a world-class athlete.
This was the situation that faced Lauren and Jrue holiday in late June when doctors discovered a tumor New Orleans on the right side of the brain Lauren.
The diagnosis was a gut blow for a young couple who are not used to health problems.
Lauren Holiday, 28, twice Olympic gold medalist for the national football team women of the United States, retired last year at the peak of his career, largely, to form a family with Jrue her husband, the starting point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. The family plans did not include brain surgery.
“Devastating,” said Jrue Holiday diagnosis.
The good news was that the tumor was operable and not a threat to the unborn daughter parties. “After successful surgery, doctors were sure Lauren back to full health.
Brain surgery, however, would have to wait until after Lauren gave birth, pushing the procedure and recovery well in the NBA regular season. Accordingly, holiday, finally healthy after a three-year stay injury-plagued with Pelicans, is expected to an indefinite period of time is lost during the regular season, while serving as a caretaker of his wife and newborn born.
“My family comes before basketball,” he said holiday, 26. “Obviously I’m blessed to play this game and be in the position I am in, but my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. She’s before nothing else.”
If it was possible for the holiday to find a spouse who was as good if not better one than he was an athlete, he did.
The couple met at UCLA, where Jrue starred in the basketball team Bruins and Lauren shone as a striker on the soccer team. They became friends and eventually started dating a few years later as their careers took off. They married in July 2013, the same month that was changed from the Philadelphia 76ers to the pelicans.
That year, Lauren was named MVP of the Women’s National Football League. In 2014, the US Soccer Federation She honored her as the Female Athlete of the Year. sponsorship agreements with Under Armour and yogurt Chobani soon followed.
After winning gold medals as a prominent member of the football team of the popular US women in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games, his popularity blossomed. Today, the next Twitter exceeds 178,000 Jrue of more than 50,000.
Last summer, at the height of his career, Lauren retired from football to form a family with Jrue.
Her pregnancy was sailing along smoothly until two months ago, when she began experiencing severe headaches. An MRI scan in New Orleans imagining revealed a benign tumor on the right side of his brain near his orbital socket.
A second opinion from a neurologist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and a neurosurgeon at the Hospital of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, confirmed the initial diagnosis.
“Obviously, we were and are still very excited about the birth of our first child, but our focus shifted to have this great blessing to make sure everything will be fine with Lauren and child” Jrue said. “Our priorities at this time are being able to manage the symptoms of Lauren and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.”
The holiday bring public lives as elite athletes, but in this case, the couple has chosen to protect their privacy and let Jrue tell their story, while Lauren focuses on health and pregnancy. They have reported only close friends and family, along with executives pelicans and players about the condition of Lauren.
Dell Demps pelicans general manager and coach Alvin Gentry vacation and met with his agent, Jason Glushon, in early August in Los Angeles to outline a game plan for your star point guard.
“The most important thing for Jrue need to do now is to be with his wife and family,” Gentry said in a statement. “Each of our coaches and players understand what Lauren and Jrue are going, and they know we’re behind them 100 percent.
“We will continue doing everything possible to support them and help them through these difficult times.”
It is not clear how much vacation time will be lost this season. Lauren expiration date is mid-October. If possible, the couple hopes to induce premature labor – perhaps as early as late September – to speed up treatment.
Doctors plan to perform brain surgery Lauren about six weeks after birth. It is expected that both procedures have been carried out in the Hospital of the University of Duke. From there, the return of Jrue pelicans and basketball activities will be determined by your recovery.
Holiday reside near medical equipment Lauren in the Raleigh-Durham, NC, the area for the foreseeable future.
“The pelicans have been very good,” Holiday said. “There was no pressure to be with the team or to choose between my computer and my wife. I was told that a husband first. I do not think they know how much their support means to me and my family.”
The Pelicans open training camp Sept. 24 at their Metairie training facility and begin the regular season Oct. 26 at home against the Denver Nuggets.
Holiday arguably is the Pelicans’ second-most important player behind Anthony Davis. His scoring average of 16.8 points per game last season was second on the team to Davis, and his averages of 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals also ranked among the team leaders.
Holiday will remain on the Pelicans’ active roster while away from the team. Langston Galloway and Tim Frazier are the only other true point guards on the roster. Combo guards E’Twaun Moore and Tyreke Evans can also play the position, although Evans is recovering from offseason knee surgery and is expected to miss the start of the season.
With so much uncertainty involved, a specific timetable for Holiday’s return has not been set. The Pelicans plan to have an athletic trainer work with him in North Carolina to maintain his skills and conditioning.
“We encourage Jrue to take as much time as he needs to be with his wife and family before returning to the Pelicans,” Demps said in a statement. “Mr. and Mrs. (Tom) Benson’s top priority is the health and wellness of the people in the organization.
“We understand that Jrue will miss some games, and his teammates are prepared to step up in his absence. We will welcome Jrue back with open arms when he is ready to return to the team.”
Demps has a keen understanding of Holiday’s situation. His wife, Anita, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in 2008 and had a benign tumor on her brain surgically removed in 2009.
Demps and the Pelicans organization have experienced more than their share of personal tragedy in recent years. Former coach Monty Williams’ wife Ingrid was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City earlier this year and forward Ryan Anderson’s girlfriend committed suicide while he was with the team in 2013. Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot in May in Dallas.
“Lauren and Jrue are strong people that share a special bond,” Demps said. “They have a tremendous support system from their family and friends along with a strong faith that will help them overcome this adverse situation.
“We are all praying for a healthy delivery of their first child and a successful surgery for Lauren. Furthermore, we ask everyone to respect the Holiday’s privacy at this time.”
Meantime, the Holiday are trying to manage the situation as best they can. Lauren’s parents, Rita and George Cheney, along with her sister, Caitlin, have alternated visits to the couple’s bases of operations in New Orleans and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
“Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others,” Jrue said. “She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”
Jrue said Lauren has numbness on the right side of her face because the tumor is pressing on a nerve. Their baby, he said, is healthy.
He also wants Pelicans fans to know he is excited about the upcoming season and hopes to return to the team as soon as possible.
Meantime, the Pelicans’ leading assist man is asking fans for one this time around.
“We just ask for your prayers, really pray for my family,” Jrue said. “We can take all the prayers that we can get.”