A mother is coping with a cancer diagnosis she received the same day her husband died of ALS.
Tessie Sylvester of Minneapolis, Minnesota met her husband John while coaching youth soccer in 2002, according to PEOPLE. Over the past 15 years, they got married and had two boys, Gus, now 6, and Freddy, now 5.
John died of ALS earlier this month with his wife and kids by his side.
“He said, ‘I just want you here, because today is the day,'” Tessie told KARE. “I was holding his hand and he took his last breath.”
Tessie knew she had cancer before John died, but she hadn’t gotten the full diagnosis until hours after her husband passed.
“I called the funeral home and as I was calling them, my other line was beeping, and it was the doctor’s office for me. And that’s when they told me it was cancer and that we needed to get going quick,” said Tessie.
Tessie was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, and the cancer had spread to her liver and lymph nodes.
Tessie told KARE in an interview that she was struggling to find a way to tell her sons she had cancer, especially after losing their dad.
“I want them to know that the doctors are going to help mommy,” she said. “I think they will hold onto that.”