DES MOINES, IA (KCCI/CNN) - Nate and Laura Yoho looked like a model couple - in more ways than one. But looks can be deceiving.
"I found out I had a brain tumor, so it's very, very bad, very serious, I guess you could say," said Laura Yoho, 30, in an interview a year and a half ago. "There's only about 2 to 5 percent that you're going to be OK."
One year into a marriage, that was heavy, even for weightlifters.
"You're in uncharted territory. You don't know how to feel," Nate Yoho said.
Even her friends since elementary couldn't believe this was happening. How could it to the girl who preached healthy living through college?
"She would get up and make breakfast while I was still in bed," Kara Stetson, Laura's best friend, said.
Laura Yoho kept fighting, while Nate Yoho kept hoping.
"I don't think I've been more nervous for anything in my life," Nate Yoho said.
But within nine months, Laura Yoho's fight was over.
"All of her family, everyone that loved her was there," Nate Yoho said.
"I told everyone she was my soulmate," Stetson said. "Best friend doesn't begin to describe what we were."
Even the best obituaries struggle to summarize a life. But Laura's also contained a surprise. She is survived, it read, by her husband Nate and her daughter Caralyn, due to be born through surrogacy.
"She was such an amazing person. I think a piece of her deserves to live on," Nate Yoho said.
It was a plan they'd shared with only their closest friends.
"I told her if you ever have trouble carrying a child, I've done it twice," Stetson said. "I know I can do it again, and I'd be willing to do it for you."
The young couple had no idea that during Laura's last year, her best friend had already been setting the stage.
"She said, ‘I've been going to the doctor and preparing myself for the past year knowing that I was going to carry this baby,'" Nate Yoho said.
"I really meant that and we … decided right then that we were going to do it," Stetson said.
Laura lived to see her baby's first black and white ultrasound and found out she was a girl. She knew, if the baby shower days before her death was any indication, her weightlifter was going to have plenty of spotters on this one.
Baby Caralyn was born four months and two days after her mother died.
Since baby Caralyn's been home from the hospital, her dad's been getting a lot of help from her grandparents and from Laura's friends, including some who've even supplied her with many months worth of breast milk.
Both Caralyn and her surrogate mom are doing great.
Copyright 2014 KCCI via CNN. All rights reserved.
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street