Former U.S. women’s national team star Lauren Holiday is scheduled to undergo brain surgery to remove a tumor just weeks after she is due to give birth to her first child.
Doctors discovered the benign tumor in late June, but said the tumor is operable, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Here are five fast facts to know about Lauren and her husband, Jrue:
1. They Are Expecting Their First Child
The 28-year-old Holiday and NBA player husband Jrue Holiday were expecting to have their first child in October, but are now planning to induce labor earlier in order to have her surgery sooner. The surgery will be performed about six weeks after she gives birth, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Doctors expect Lauren to make a full recovery following the procedure, and said the tumor is unlikely to threaten the health of the child.
2. Jrue Said His Wife Is the Toughest Person He Knows
Lauren, who won two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 Women’s World Cup, discovered she had a brain tumor after experiencing intense headaches. A doctor’s visit revealed she had a tumor near her orbital socket that requires surgery.
“Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others,” Jrue, 26, told the Times-Picayune. “She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”
3. They Met at UCLA & Married in 2013
The pair met while they were both student-athletes at UCLA. After establishing a friendship, they started dating in 2008. They were married on July 7, 2013– the same month Jrue was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Pelicans.
Their wedding guests included many of Jrue’s former Philadelphia teammates as well as a handful of Lauren’s USWNT teammates.
Lauren has called her marriage, “neutral territory,” a space where she and her husband can focus on each other instead of their respective sport.
4. Jrue Is Missing the Start of the NBA Season
The New Orleans Pelicans point guard announced he will miss the start of the upcoming NBA season to be by his wife’s side for the procedure and recovery. He is expected to miss an indefinite period of time, according to the Times-Picayune.
“My family comes before basketball,” Jrue told the Times-Picayune. “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.”
According to the Times-Picayune, the couple will spend the next few months living in North Carolina to be closer to Lauren’s doctors at Duke University.
“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.”
5. Lauren Retired from Soccer to Start a Family With Jrue
Lauren announced her retirement last year, just two days after scoring the team’s third goal in the Women’s World Cup final. A big influence in her decision to retire was her desire to start a family with Jrue.
“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 to the Times-Picayune. “Our priorities right now are being able to manage Lauren’s symptoms and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.
“We just ask for your prayers, really pray for my family,” Jrue told the paper. “We can take all the prayers that we can get.”