Drielle is a fashion model; David is a cardiovascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Centers for Special Surgery.
How did you meet?
Drielle Valeretto: We met almost two years ago, at a friend’s birthday, and it was love at first sight.
Dr. David Greuner: A friend basically pushed us together and said, “You guys are Brazilian, you will get along.” and left! A little awkward but we ended up sticking together the whole night.
What was your first date?
DV: Well, that’s pretty funny; he asked me to go to a movie theater with him and I was asked to pick the restaurant. He didn’t like the place I chose and he ended up sleeping at the movie.
DG: She picked Vapiano, an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, but it’s buffet style, like a cafeteria. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but I kept looking at her, and she was so nervous, she barely spoke or looked me in the eye. I thought it was adorable.
What are the keys to your success as a couple?
DV: We have each other’s backs, are able to come home and talk about problems in general and day-to-day life, work, personal, etc. Another is to always be honest to each other, and third: loving.
DG: To really have someone accept you, you have to reveal the true you. I think a lot of people put on an act initially, which is probably the worst time to do so, as we tend to be more tolerant of each other in that initial “new” stage of a relationship. When we met, we had a lot of conversations about our bad qualities prior to becoming more serious. Because of that, there have been very few negative surprises in our relationship, and I think that has helped tremendously.
How do you balance your careers with your home life?
DV: The truth is, it’s not easy; we have tight schedules and sometimes the first time we have to sit down and spend together is right when we are ready to sleep. But I personally believe that is healthy, so you don’t get tired of each other. On the weekends mostly we are together 24/7.
DG: Not easily, that’s for sure! One of the things we love to do together is work out early in the morning prior to us starting our day. That accomplishes some quality time together, as well as having health benefts. It pays of, especially in the winter when it’s hard to drag yourself out of bed alone. We also try something new every couple of weeks that involves extended physical contact, such as dance lessons, or take a ride somewhere new on my motorcycle.
Tell us about upcoming projects you’re excited about.
DV: I live life one day at a time, but I defnitely have plans for the future. I want to have some munchkins running around one day. But right now I’m studying and my next step is getting into nursing school. I’m excited and happy to have David to support me through that.
DG: I am involved with a lot of charity and philanthropic work on a regular basis, and one of my favorite events for one of the charities I am intimately involved with is coming up soon at the Cannes Film Festival. We are partners with the Paris based organization The Heart Fund, where we raise money and perform heart surgery on children in underdeveloped countries with congenital heart defects. It’s typically a celeb-studded event, and draws a lot of media attention.
Also, our company, NYC Surgical Associates, is expanding once again to build larger and more modern operating rooms in our Manhattan location to increase the capability and complexity of surgery we can to perform on site. We are now offering treatment of complex congenital arteriovenous malformations, which are tumors of blood vessels, which often occur in children. We plan to offer this highly specialized treatment to children in underdeveloped countries as well.
By Emily Allen
Photos courtesy of Coraline Lauren