Jrue Holiday won’t be joining his teammates on the New Orleans Pelicans for the start of the NBA season, with the point guard announcing he’s taking a leave of absence to be at his wife’s side following her diagnosis of a brain tumour.
As NOLA.com reports, Lauren Holiday — a retired professional soccer player — was six months pregnant at the time the tumour was diagnosed, and while it won’t affect the health of the couple’s unborn daughter, doctors are adamant that the tumour be be removed as soon as possible.
“My family comes before basketball,” said Jrue 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.”
He also opened up about the impending birth of their daughter. “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,” he admitted. “Our priorities right now are being able to manage Lauren’s symptoms and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.”
With Lauren due in mid-October, doctors are hoping to induce labour a bit ahead of schedule, as surgeons plan to remove the tumour six weeks after she gives birth.
“Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others,” Holiday said of his wife. “She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”
Lauren recently shared an inspirational message of hope on Instagram: