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Jon Batiste and Suleika Jaouad announce they got married in secret

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Grammy-nominated musician Jon Batiste, the bandleader of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ and Suleika Jaouad, author of the best-selling cancer memoir ‘Between Two Kingdoms,’ have revealed they had each other secretly married in February, they told “CBS Sunday Morning.”

The couple, who have been together for eight years, decided to get married after she was recently diagnosed with leukemia for the second time. “We got married the day before I was admitted to the hospital for my bone marrow transplant,” she told correspondent Jim Axelrod.

“We knew we wanted to get married, I think, the first week we started dating. That’s when Jon first approached me about marriage. So we We turned eight. It’s not, you know, a hasty decision!” she laughed.

Jaouad said the suddenness of the “little, beautiful, little ceremony” meant they got by without formal rings. “We used bread ties,” she said.

To watch an exclusive video about their secret ceremony, click on the video player below.

Batiste said the whirlwind ceremony “will not interrupt the plan we have. It’s just a bump in the road.”

“And something like getting married can be an act of optimism, an act of declaration, an act of ‘We have a future,'” Axelrod said.

“Yes. It’s an act of defiance. The darkness will try to catch up with you, but just turn on the light. Focus on the light. Hold on to the light.”

Jaouad said that after receiving his diagnosis, Batiste revealed that his draft proposals took months in the making. “He said to me, ‘I just want to be very clear, I’m not proposing to you because of this diagnosis. It took me a year to design your ring. So, just know that this timing has nothing to do with it. But what I want you to know is that this diagnosis doesn’t change anything. It just makes it all the clearer to me that I want to commit to it and be together. But once we realized we had this small window before the bone marrow transplant, we decided to go for it.

“And thanks to a friend, we were able to arrange to get a marriage license at the very last minute, while I was in the OR having a catheter put in my chest. And that was absurd! There was nurses around, there were surgeons We had this computer. I was in a hospital gown. But we managed. And that evening, we went to buy our wedding outfits together, at the very last minute, Lots of laughs. But it was, you know, nothing like we imagined. There were maybe four people there. It was private. It was tiny. And it was perfect.

“And I’ll tell you, we walked into this bone marrow transplant unit on cloud nine,” Jaouad said. “We were so happy, so overflowing with love and positivity from this beautiful evening that we had. And I really believe that it carried us. That sense of community, that sense of love, that sense of joy and spontaneity were so important.”

To watch more of Jim Axelrod’s interview with Jon Batiste and Suleika Jaouad, click on the video player below.

READ AN EXTRACT: “Between Two Kingdoms” by Suleika Jaouad

For more information:”We Are” by Jon Batiste (Verve Records)Follow Jon Batiste on TwitterInstagram, Facebook and “Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaouad (Random House), in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound “Life, Interrupted” by Suleika Jaouad chronicles in the New York TimesFollow Suleika Jaouad on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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