Some scary news out of New Orleans: Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday revealed on Sunday that his wife, former U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Lauren Holiday, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor while the couple are expecting their first child next month. Fortunately, the tumor is considered to be operable, but Holiday will miss the start of the season to be with her. They’re putting off her surgery until after the baby is born in order to ensure fewer complications with the pregnancy.
The good news was the tumor was operable and not a threat to the Holidays’ unborn daughter. After successful surgery, doctors were confident Lauren would return to full health.
The brain surgery, however, would need to wait until after Lauren gave birth, pushing the procedure and her recovery well into the NBA regular season. Consequently, Holiday, finally healthy after an injury-riddled three-year tenure with the Pelicans, is expected to miss an indefinite period of time during the regular season while serving as a caretaker for his wife and newborn.
“My family comes before basketball,” said Holiday, 26. “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.”
Fortunately, the Pelicans are being supportive of Holiday, with head coach Alvin Gentry and GM Dell Demps both telling him to take as much time as he needs to be with his family and not to worry about the impact his missed time will have on the team.
“The most important thing for Jrue to do right now is be with his wife and family,” Gentry said in a statement. “Every one of our coaches and players understands what Lauren and Jrue are going through, and they know we’re behind them 100 percent.
“We’ll continue to do everything we can to support them and help them get through these hard times.”
“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.”
All signs point to Lauren’s tumor being treatable, but this is a terrifying situation for any family to go through, and it goes without saying that being with his family is more important for Jrue than anything related to basketball. Good on the Pelicans for being understanding of one of the worst things any family can go through.
Our thoughts are with the Holiday family as Lauren prepares for this tough road ahead.