Championship runner Gabriele 'Gabe' Grunewald has died at the age of 32 after inspiring many during her public and lengthy fight against cancer.
She gained notoriety for her perseverance and continuing to compete despite her diagnosis. She was facing a rare metastatic cancer.
Her husband, Justin Grunewald, took to Instagram to share the sad news late Tuesday night. The cause was complications of the cancer.
"At 7:52 I said “I can’t wait until I get to see you again” to my hero, my best friend, my inspiration, my wife. @gigrunewald I always felt like the Robin to your Batman and I know I will never be able to fill this gaping hole in my heart or fill the shoes you have left behind. Your family loves you dearly as do your friends.When @chipgaines made the final push in his #chipinchallenge I could feel your happiness building and could also see that this made you ready to head up to heaven. Chip thanks for helping her to go up so peacefully with no suffering.To everyone else from all ends of the earth, Gabriele heard your messages and was so deeply moved. She wants you to stay brave and keep all the hope in the world. Thanks for helping keep her brave in her time of need 😪🙏🏻"
The news came quickly. Only two days ago, Gabe had been moved to comfort care in her home. She is pictured below surrounded by family and friends on Monday before her death
"There are only two ways to live your life. Justin wrote on Instagram. One as though nothing is a miracle, the other as though everything is a miracle.” Gabe chose the latter. We got her home to our comfy couch and she is resting peacefully and breathing easy surrounded by her best friends and family. She made it home in time to see some extra special finishes @chipgaines, @joannagaines, and @brockwayne put on our new condo to make it feel like home. For that, I have no words."
The former Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines recently gave Gabe and Justin a surprise by adding a few redecorating touches to her home while she was still in the hospital.
“Cancer is ugly and it is mean and it doesn’t fight fair. This has gotten extremely personal,”said Chip on Instagram, before announcing his plans to match donations in the #ChipInChallenge.
Chip vowed to support “those who are fighting for just one more day” by creating the challenge and matching any donations that are made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Gabe’s foundation, Brave Like Gabe, by midnight on Wednesday.
Chip continued: "Together, we’re going to fight for those who are fighting for just one more day. This is for those precious kids at St. Jude.. we are pulling for you! And to my beautiful friend Gabe.. we love you and we are here for you every step of the way."
Gabe was first diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma which is a rare form of cancer in the saliva glands after discovering a lump on her neck.
The runner would go on to beat cancer multiple times, only for it to return multiple times over the next decade.
Describing the first diagnosis, Grunewald told Cosmopolitan that she knew she would get through it.