Hero image of Gabe Grunewald running


Pro runner. Cancer patient. Relentless optimist.

Gabe Grunewald’s career with Brooks spans eight years. She signed with Brooks in 2010 and was most recently featured in our March 2018 catalog. Eight years is a long tenure for any professional track and field athlete, but it’s even more impressive given that Gabe’s running career has always been shadowed by cancer.

Gabe has lived two lives for ten years: professional athlete and cancer patient. She was first diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma as a 5th-year senior at University of Minnesota in 2009. At times she’s been so sick she couldn’t run a step. But Gabe has also gone through periods of remission that allowed her to compete successfully, even winning the 3,000-meter run at US Indoor Nationals in 2014.

The only clue that Gabe has cancer is a long scar across her abdomen. The scar is the result of major surgery in 2016 to treat a recurrence of the cancer in her liver. Though the scar is noticeable, Gabe’s wide smile and easy laugh make a bigger impression. Gabe’s positive outlook shapes her goals. She’ll continue to train and receive treatment, but she wants to do more. Now, she says, it’s time to recognize that it’s not all about her. Now is the time to help others find their own opportunities to be brave.

"Brave Like Gabe" has become the sign-off for Gabe's story as a cancer patient and professional athlete. For Gabe, being brave means continuing to train even when doctors tell her she'll never be as fast as she was before. It means living a full life with her husband Justin Grunewald and going about her normal routine as a professional athlete.

For someone else, being brave could mean having the courage to run their first mile. If we truly take "Brave Like Gabe" to heart, it means persevering through challenges without comparing ourselves to anyone else.


Incurable is just a word - Gabe

Anyone else might retreat from public life while undergoing cancer treatment. Not Gabe. Instead, she’s speaking up. With a growing profile, Gabe is ready to step into a bigger role as an advocate.

“Brave Like Gabe” is no longer just a social media hashtag. Gabe is developing it into a non-profit organization, with a website launching in early March. Gabe will add managing the foundation to her already busy running schedule. Her work will focus on fundraising for research about rare cancers. Drawing on her positive experience in an immunotherapy clinical trial, Gabe also hopes to use her foundation to decrease the stigma surrounding clinical trials.

Gabe’s personal struggle has become the launching pad for the next phase in her life. She’s thinking beyond her career as a runner and discovering her power to be a voice for other young people with cancer. We’re beyond proud to watch her grow into that role, and can’t wait to see her inspire others the way she’s inspired us.


Get to know Gabe in this 2017 documentary as she attempts to qualify for the 2017 US Outdoor National Championship while battling cancer.

Side profile of Gabe Grunewald
GABE (25:53)

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