“The world is a better place because of people like @gg_runs,” thanks @JackieGruendel, I could not have said it better myself. That is the last tweet that Gabriele Gruneweld retweeted on May 29th, around the time of Brave Like Gabe 5k.
Gabe is a pro runner, a 1500m specialist. Founder of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, “empowering all cancer survivors through physical activity” and raising money to support rare cancer research. Gabe was a rare cancer survivor.
I am one of the fortunate many who have had the chance to meet this remarkable young woman. I am one of the few who got to race this hardworking talent. In 2015 I cannot remember what race it was, but we both had a bad race and she looked at me and said: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get it next time.’ And we did. I have this photo etched in my mind with arms over each other’s shoulders laughing and smiling. It’s a memory I hold near and dear to my heart.
Grunewald was 32 and from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was the American national champion in 2014, winning the 3000 metre event at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships. At the time, she had already been waging her battles with cancer.
It’s a bittersweet memory today. Gabe is a three-time cancer survivor, but cancer came around for a fourth battle. Gabe clings to her life at home in a gravelly ill state where she is surrounded by the ones that love her the most. The family puts on a brave face. We all do.
So today, #RunOnHope, put your Brave Like Gabe pants on and tackle your Monday. Be positive. Be relentless. Be kind. Be Brave. Why?
Because it is what Gabe would do.
To follow Gabriele Grunewald: