MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Former Gopher runner Gabriele Grunewald, whose fight against cancer inspired people worldwide, has passed away, according to her husband's Instagram post.
The 32-year-old professional runner and Olympic hopeful’s story prompted shoe company, Brooks Running, to make a documentary about her. Around the world, people adopted the #BraveLikeGabe to show their support.
Sports Illustrated ran stories on her, and home improvement television personalities Chip and Joanna Gaines took up her fight after a chance meeting in Central Park when Chip stopped her and asked her how to train for a marathon.
In recent weeks, Grunewald’s condition had worsened. Grunewald’s husband, Justin, posted on Instagram Tuesday night saying, "I can't wait until I see you again."
Kara Goucher, an Olympic runner and Duluth native, responded to Justin's post, saying Grunewald's legacy will live on.
"My heart breaks for you Justin," she wrote. "Thank you for sharing so much with us all. She will live on for us forever. And we are here for you and her family, for the long haul. She will never be far from you, but peacefully living in heaven."
The official Instagram for USA Track and Field shared their condolences to her family and friends.
"[Grunewald] embodied true determination, dedication and commitment to every facet of her life," read the post. "She will be remembered as one of the bravest athletes we knew. Her legacy lives on as she inspired a world of people. She will be missed."
Chip and Joanna Gaines will be matching donations to St. Jude's until midnight Wednesday and will also be making that same donation to the Brave Like Gabe Foundation.
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 😪🙏🏻 #keeprunningonhope #bravelikegabe 📸 @pixelcrave 📷 @kohjiro_kinno