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Minnesota native, former Gophers runner Grunewald moved into comfort care

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Gabriele Grunewald, seen here in 2106 at the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field, was moved to comfort care on Sunday, according to her husband Justin Grunewald. James Lang / USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

Gabriele Grunewald, a 2004 Perham (Minn.) High School graduate, has been moved to comfort care, according to her husband Justin Grunewald.

Justin wrote on his Instagram account Sunday, June 9, that "overnight Gabriele's status worsened with worsening liver function causing confusion."

"Wanting to do her no harm we had made the difficult decision to move her to comfort cares this afternoon."

Gabriele, 32, was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2009 during her running career with the Minnesota Gophers. She started her professional running career in 2010.




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*** update read whole post *** It breaks my heart to say but overnight Gabriele’s status worsened with worsening liver function causing confusion. Wanting to do her no harm we have made the difficult decision to move her to comfort cares this afternoon. I wanted to let you all know while she is still alive so you can send her one last message here or on her wall or on her phone before she heads up to heaven. I wrote this to her a couple years ago below and wanted to share what she means to me. Dear Gabriele, First, thank you. Thank you so much for showing me what it's like to be and feel alive. It's easy to pass through life day to day and punch a time card wishing away the hours. Currently although I don't always show it, I cherish every second. Whether we are out running, binging on a new Netflix series, or just lying in bed being lazy. Nothing beats the feeling I get when I see your smiling face. I know life is scary and I know we have won the lottery of uncertainty, and it's not fair, but I still choose our life of uncertainly and at times fear, over any alternative option I could think of. I have so much fun with you and have learned more from having you as my best friend and wife than I learned in the rest of my life combined. I know you have been given the heaviest of tasks in life. The task of being brave despite feeling enormous amounts of fear. The task of smiling when your throat wells up with pain and eyes want to fill with tears, but I don't think you were chosen by random chance, and again I know that's not fair but you are so amazing at being you and that's why I feel bravelikegabe is so special. Because there isn't a word in the dictionary for what you do or who you are. Brave flails in comparison to what you are to me and to so many people out there facing the simplest and silliest of struggles in day to day life. At the end of the day people won't remember the PRs run or the teams qualified for but they will remember that hard period in their life where they were losing hope but they found inspiration in a young lady who refuses to give up. I love you #bravelikegabe #runningonhope

A post shared by Justin Grunewald (@justingrunewald1) on

Justin also added this in his Instagram post on Sunday:

"I wanted to let you all know while she is still alive so you can send her one last message here or on her wall or on her phone before she heads up to heaven."

Gabriele's Instagram account is "gigrunewald" and she is @gg_runs on Twitter.

She finished in second place for the Gophers in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor track and field championships. In 2012, Gabriele finished in fourth place in the 1,500 at the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field.

Gabriele Grunewald started the Brave Like Gabe Foundation (bravelikegabe.org) in 2018 "to share her story, connect with patients, and make a difference in the cancer community," it reads on the foundation's website.

Gabriele has become an inspiration to a large group of fans during her long fight with cancer that she shared with the public. Her most recent post on her official Instagram account was five weeks ago.

"Have a heck of a time out there and celebrate what you've helped support and accomplish through the research grant!" she wrote in that post.