(CNN) — Jon Batiste quietly married Suleika Jaouad, his longtime girlfriend, in February 2022.
Jaouad, author of the cancer memoir “Between Two Kingdoms,” said the event occurred just before she was scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant. She had been diagnosed with leukemia for the second time.
“We got married the day before I was admitted to the hospital for my bone marrow transplant,” he told “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Jaouad continued, “We knew we wanted to get married, I think, from the first week we started dating. That’s when Jon first brought up the subject of marriage to me. So, we’ve had eight years. This is not a rushed decision.”
He added that his diagnosis was not actually a factor in the two getting married.
“He told 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, I just know that this moment has nothing to do with it. know is that this diagnosis doesn’t change anything. It just makes it clearer to me that I want to commit to this and for us to be together.’ But once we realized we had this little window before the bone marrow transplant, we decided to go for it.” .
He said the wedding was “small” and perfect.
“And I’ll tell you, we walked into that bone marrow transplant unit on a cloud. We were so happy, so overflowing with love and optimism from this beautiful evening that we had. And I really think that got us through,” she said.
On Sunday, Batiste took home five Grammy Awards, including best music video and album of the year.