On the one-year anniversary of Gabe Grunewald’s death, runners are taking to social media, using the hashtags #bravelikegabe and #runningonhope, to share what the middle distance runner, national champion, and the woman who lived with cancer for a decade taught them.
No tribute is as touching as the one from her husband, Justin Grunewald, who is also the president and CEO of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation. Or from her sister, Abigail Anderson, who posted a loving poem titled “Easy to Find,” about seeing Grunewald all around her in the past year.
Brooks, Grunewald’s former sponsor, is honoring her legacy multiple ways, including the release of a special-edition shoe with “Running on Hope” printed all over it. Proceeds from the legacy shoe, which is on sale today, will go to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on behalf of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation. Brooks also released this tribute on Twitter:
Today, on the first anniversary of Gabe Grunewald’s passing, we’d like to take this moment to share our tribute to her and her legacy of hope and bravery, which lives on in the #BraveLikeGabe Foundation. We invite you to join us in honoring her memory. https://t.co/IlN7DnHj67 pic.twitter.com/GQsYM7kCJq
— Brooks Running (@brooksrunning) June 11, 2020
Friends of Grunewald’s, and even strangers who have been touched by her story, are also posting their love. Some, like home improvement mogul Chip Gaines has pledged to donate to Brave Like Gabe today and are urging others to do the same. (Read a moving essay Gaines wrote about how they met and how she changed his life.) Others are making sure to get out and run any distance in Grunewald’s memory and for others who are living with cancer.
View this post on Instagram
Gabe’s life & friendship made me better, & I know there are countless others who would say the same. @gigrunewald was just that kind of person, & I strive to be more like her in that way every single day. She died a year ago today & I’m making a 10k donation to @bravelikegabe in her honor. If you feel compelled, join me in donating! If not, maybe a quick note of encouragement to @justingrunewald1 because I know today, like me, his heart is aching. We love & miss U Gabe!
View this post on Instagram
It can’t be. But it has been. It seems like yesterday. But the wounds have yet to heal. A year ago today we lost this precious soul. Gabe was a day brightener, that’s for sure, always putting smiles on the faces of those around her. If there’s one thing we can all do to honor her, it’s to try our best to emulate this quality. We miss you and love you. And as @chipgaines said, send hefty doses of love to @justingrunewald1 and if you feel so inclined make a donation to @bravelikegabe. #bravelikegabe
— Caitlyn Smith (@caitpilk) June 11, 2020
Many runners are calling out her bits of wisdom that they carry to this day when things get hard. Like “It’s OK to struggle, but it’s not OK to give up,” “Running on hope,” or simply the word “brave.”
"It's OK to struggle, but it's not OK to give up."
I can't believe it's been a year since Gabe Grunewald passed. Getting to talk with her and get to know her was one of the greatest joys and privileges. I never met Gabe in real life, and yet I think about her constantly.
— Ali Feller (@AliOnTheRun1) June 11, 2020
To make a donation to the Brave Like Gabe Foundation or find out more about its mission, visit the website.