Lauren Holiday was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this summer and Jrue Holiday has faithfully promised to stay by his wife’s side during the entire process. The devastating news was not publicly divulged until Jeff Duncan’s column printed earlier this morning.
Thankfully, Lauren’s benign tumor has been deemed operable, but the surgery must be postponed until after the couple gives birth to their first child. Consequently, Jrue will miss the start of the Pelicans 2016-17 season, and his return to the team is expected to be determined by her recovery.
With fandom comes a lot of peaks and valleys. Monumental wins or streaks of good play leading to various achievements often coincide with sudden setbacks like injury or other failures inhibiting meeting expectation. Inching ever closer to raising a championship trophy means having to traverse a number of steps that were first taken backwards. There are times, however, this journey is forced to pause momentarily when an arduous dose of reality decides to enter the equation.
The emotional roller coaster that is ridden by avid followers of professional sports teams is not for the faint of heart, and fans of the Pelicans are familiar with this notion all too well. We were shocked to learn when Gia Allemand, Ryan Anderson’s former girlfriend, took her life. We were left heartbroken when Monty William’s wife, Ingrid, died shortly after a tragic car accident. And we were floored by the news of the shooting death of 23-year-old Bryce Dejean-Jones.
Life doesn’t make special concessions for an upcoming basketball season, but fortunately Lauren’s doctors are confident she will return to full health. We can imagine her trek has already been a difficult one, but between her strong faith in God and the undying support of her husband, family and surrounding loved ones, she is ready to tackle her toughest ordeal yet that lies ahead.
Although expected, it’s also reassuring to read that the entire New Orleans Pelicans organization is 100% committed to Jrue Holiday. That Dell Demps, Alvin Gentry and his new agent, Jason Glushon, met with him, and above all else emphasized the idea that family does indeed come first. As Duncan’s article pointed out, the general manager has navigated through similar trying times before when his wife faced similar challenges.
Demps has a keen understanding of Holiday's situation. His wife, Anita, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in 2008 and had a benign tumor on her brain surgically removed in 2009.
Jrue Holiday suddenly has more on his plate than he probably ever thought possible, yet it’s amazing to read he refuses to put aside all thoughts about the coming season. There is no doubt that both he and his wife are cut from the same rarified cloth so the least we can do is honor Jrue’s request with our sincerest thoughts and prayers for his wife and unborn baby.
Get well soon, Lauren, because like your husband, New Orleans Pelicans fans will not fully be able to enjoy the upcoming season until your beautiful family has safely moved past all danger.