Nate and Laura Yoho‘s story began in 2010 when the couple decided to get married on August 13, 2011, after meeting in 2007. However, the anticipated joy of starting their new life together was cut short when Laura received a devastating diagnosis.
Nate told WHOTV, that he fell in love with Laura’s passion to help people “and she cared certainly more about others then even sometimes they did themselves.”
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Both Nate and Laura were personal trainers at the time they got married, KCCI reported. When people looked at them, they looked like the ultimate couple, beautiful, physically fit, and all of that was wrapped up in real love for each other.
But what you couldn’t see was that less than a year before becoming husband and wife, Laura had begun the fight for her life, quite literally. In 2010, Nate and Laura had just completed a work out when Laura passed out in the women’s locker room of their gym.
At first, doctors believed she had a stroke until she received a second opinion when her symptoms persisted. It was then that Laura was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She told KCCI, at the time, “It’s very, very serious, I guess you could say there is only about five percent, or should I say two to five percent (chance) that you’re going to be OK.”
And with the shock of Laura’s diagnosis still fresh, the soon-to-be bride dove straight into an aggressive treatment regiment. A regiment that included “three surgeries. Brain surgeries, which were pretty extensive and I’ve done four different chemotherapies and I’ve done two different radiations.”
In 2011, Laura was given a year-and-a-half to live. Her husband, Nate, said at the time, “You’re in uncharted territory. You don’t know what to feel.”
But in the end, when her team of doctors did all they possibly could for her, Laura stuck to what she knew to help get her through the hard days, and that was health and fitness. “Cardiovascularly, I’m the best I ever was. I’ve still got a life left, you know. It doesn’t matter what they tell me, I realize, I know mentally that I’m good. I’m still strong.”
Sadly, on July 23, 2013, Laura passed away in her home. She was just 30 years old. However, before her passing, Nate and Laura were approached by one of Laura’s very best friends, who offered to be a surrogate for them so that they could achieve another dream they had for their life together.
Nate and Laura have always wanted to start a family together someday, and so they took Laura’s friend, Kara Stetson, up on her offer. Stetson told KCCI, “She said, ‘Hopefully someday Nate and I will be able to have a child.’ I said, ‘Well, if you ever have any trouble carrying a child, I’ve done it twice, I know I can do it again. I’d be more than happy to do it for ya.'”
Sadly, while Laura lived long enough to learn Stetson was pregnant with her and Nate’s daughter, she passed away before she was able to meet her in person. Stetson explained:
“She said, ‘Whatever happens, happens. I baby is a joy to all no matter what.’ And I thought you know what, and that’s why I loved her so much, she just, she knew exactly what to say. And I said, ‘That’s right. There’s nothing bad that could come out of your baby being here.'”
The couple announced they were expecting in her obituary. It read, “She is survived and lovingly remembered by her husband Nate of Grimes, IA, her daughter Caralyn, due to be born in December through surrogacy.” Caralyn was a name Laura and Nate had picked out together, which also paid homage to her surrogate.
Nate said, “She was such an amazing person. I think a piece of her deserves to live on.”
But in the end, Laura was right, through the heartbreak of losing their beloved daughter, wife, and friend, her baby girl Caralyn brought a joy that was felt by all, especially Nate. He told KCCI, “She’s going to know how hard her mother tried to be there for her.”
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Now, Caralyn is almost 6 years old and according to Nate has inherited many of her mom’s best qualities. “Her and Laura have the same eyes, and her mouth is really similar too. When you see it, it’s like, ‘Woah that was her right there. They never met, so it’s really cool to see those natural things come out in her.'”
Nate said their daughter has also inherited Laura’s resilience. And now, she’s in kindergarten and Nate owns a gym. And together, the father-daughter duo is doing quite well.
And while Caralyn knows about her mom, through pictures and the stories that have been told about her, it is only now that this beautiful little girl is starting to grasps the magnitude of her story and the magnitude of the impact her mother has left behind.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.