Former U.S. soccer star Lauren Holiday has been diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant with her first baby.
The stunning 28-year-old will undergo surgery to remove the tumor in October, following the birth of her first child with husband Jrue Holiday.
Talking to NOLA.com, pro basketball player hubby Jrue, 26, said: “Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others.
“She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”
Lauren was among one of the world’s most respected woman’s footballers before retiring last year to start a family.
Highlights of her career included Olympic gold medals with the U.S. national team in 2008 and 2012.
But tragedy struck in June this year after doctors discovered a tumor pressing on her brain after she began experiencing piercing headaches.
Doctors confirmed the tumor was benign but needed to be removed as it was dangerously close to her orbital socket.
“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,” told Jrue, who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Our priorities right now are being able to manage Lauren’s symptoms and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.”
Doting husband Jrue also told how he has decided to sit out of an indefinite number of games this season in order to take care of his wife.
He said: “My family comes before basketball.
“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 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.”