Pregnant former U.S. soccer star Lauren Holiday is scheduled to have surgery to remove a brain tumor following the birth of her first child with husband Jrue Holiday.
“Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others,” New Orleans Pelicans player Jrue, 26, told NOLA.com. “She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”
Lauren, 28, first discovered a tumor pressing on her brain this past June after experiencing piercing headaches, NOLA.com reports, and multiple doctors confirmed that the tumor was benign but needed to be removed, as it was close to her orbital socket.
Doctors also determined that Lauren should not have the surgery until after the birth of her baby. The athletic couple’s first child is due in October.
“Obviously, we were and are still very excited about the birth of our first child, but our focus shifted from having this magnificent blessing to making sure everything is going to be OK with Lauren and the child,” Jrue said. “Our priorities right now are being able to manage Lauren’s symptoms and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.”
The pair have also decided that Jrue will speak to the press when necessary so that Lauren can focus on her health and pregnancy, according to NOLA.com.
Lauren, who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. women’s national soccer team, retired from playing last year due in large part to her desire to start a family with Jrue, who is the starting point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Jrue has decided to sit out an indefinite number of games this season in order to take care of Lauren in her recovery, a decision that he didn’t question for a moment.
“My family comes before basketball,” Jrue told NOLA.com. “I’m obviously 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 comes before anything else.”
Doctors are confident that Lauren will return to full health following the procedure, and told Jrue that the child should not be affected by the tumor.
"We are all praying for a healthy delivery of their first child and a successful surgery for Lauren," Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said in a statement Sunday. "Furthermore, we ask everyone to respect the Holidays' privacy at this time."
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