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Mother dies after 2-year battle with the cancer diagnosed hours after husband's death

The Sylvester family has experienced a double tragedy.
Tessie Sylvester

Tessie Sylvester, with late husband John and their two children.

A Twin Cities mother who was diagnosed with cancer just hours after her husband died from ALS has lost her battle with the disease.

A GoFundMe page that has raised an incredible $320,000 for the Sylvester family confirmed on Thursday that Tessie Sylvester has died.

She was 36 when she diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that affects the glands, on the same day that her beloved husband John – a former Minnesota Thunder player and high school soccer coach – died from Lou Gehrig's Disease in June 2017 at the age of 44.

"Tessie’s courage, strength, and grace were unmatched on this Earth," an update on the fundraising page says. "Today, her body was freed from this place and now lives on in the hearts of her beloved boys, her brothers & sisters, her Mom & Dad, and her nieces and nephews. She is always with us."

She is survived by her two sons, Gus and Freddy, who are being adopted by her sister Jenny and brother-in-law Chris, who have three children of their own.

Tessie wrote an update on the page a year on from her husband's death, paying tribute to their two sons and their family for helping get them through such a tough period.

"In this past year, the boys and I have cried, screamed, remembered, laughed, and ached in a world without their Daddy. We have learned a new way to be, and yet struggled with not being able to be held or hugged by John. Our Gus and Freddy, our Joy & Sunshine, are everything and more than John and I hoped they would be. To say that they are resilient does not even do them justice. They are the sweetest, most courageous, hilarious, sincere, empathetic, and joyful children I have ever met. They are the reason I have made it this far.  And our families and friends are the reason that the three of us as a family have survived. One year ago we lost John and on that very same day learned that I had cancer. On that day I did not think that I would make it to the next - but here I am. I am here with my 2 beautiful boys. I am still here one year later."

Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that forms in glands, usually ones that line internal organs, the National Cancer Institute says. Most breast, pancreas, lung, prostate, and colon cancers fall into this category.

Plans for a celebration of Tessie Sylvester's life will be released in the coming days.

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