Tragedy travels in twos for Minnesota family

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Tessie and John Sylvester with their two sons, Gus and Freddy.

Support is pouring in for a Minneapolis family that received two devastating blows in one day.

"It’s been scary," Tessie Sylvester said. "That's probably the best word for it. Exhausting--but yeah, just scary." 

John Sylvester, a former soccer player for the Minnesota Thunder and Tessie's husband, died after a 6 year battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Just hours after she said goodbye to the love of her life, her world was rocked again with a devastating diagnosis.

"I was talking to the woman at the funeral home and literally my phone beeped," Tessie said. "I looked at it and it was my doctor's office and I clicked over and it was my doctor telling me." 

It turns out she has a tumor on her liver and in her lymph nodes. Doctors say surgery isn't an option.

She's undergoing chemo to fight the disease, but she's terrified her sons, 6-year-old Gus and 5-year-old Freddy, who've already lost one parent, could lose another.

"I also always think it’s not fair. But there are a lot of people in the world that things aren't fair for," Tessie said. "Some of those situations I can't imagine myself in their shoes. I try not to dwell on the not fair. It can always be worse." 

But Tessie believes her beloved John is still watching over all of them.

"I will obviously take as much time as I can get with the kids," she said. "But I am hoping much larger than that. That there's some miracle that we can get rid of this altogether."

Since John was sick, Tessie was the main breadwinner--but now she won't be able to work.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the family with medical costs has raised nearly $90,000 of its $500,000 goal.