Gabriele Grunewald, one of the country’s top middle-distance runners, has died at her home in Minneapolis after inspiring many with her long and public fight against cancer. She was 32.
Her husband, Justin Grunewald, posted on Instagram about her death late Tuesday and confirmed it Wednesday in a text to The Associated Press.
Grunewald was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma — a rare form of cancer in the saliva glands — in 2009 while running for the University of Minnesota. Following surgery and radiation therapy, she went on to finish second in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA championships.
She kept on running through three more bouts with the disease, forging a career as a professional athlete and U.S. champion while enduring surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
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