ST. PAUL, Minn. - Wherever she goes, Gabe Grunewald runs.

"My husband and I, we run through Central Park all the time on those trips," said Grunewald.

And, there they were, Chip and Joanna Gaines, from 'Fixer Upper," and Chip was asking for advice on running.

"I just told him, 'I'm a pro runner if you need any help,'" said Grunewald.

What Gabe didn't tell him was how she grew up in Perham, a small town about three hours northwest of the Twin Cities.

"I enjoyed running from the moment I tried it," said Grunewald.

How she's the underdog, a walk-on distance runner for the Gophers.

"I feel like my story is -- it's kind of like just learning to believe in myself," said Grunewald.

How she kept training until she was one of the best runners in the nation. And then...

"I just had a small bump under my ear that didn't go away," said Grunewald.

How that bump was a rare cancerous tumor: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.

Her college career was over, although she ran one more race, setting a personal record at Arizona State.

"That's how I started my cancer journey and I've tried to keep that going ever since," said Grunewald.

Gabe's kept it going for nine years, battling cancer off-and-on with chemo, radiation, and surgeries. In between, she kept running, becoming a National Champion in 2014.

"Right now, they would categorize my disease as stable," said Grunewald.

Still, it's the 4th bout with cancer. Last fall, she started a clinical trial in New York City.

"I think for me to have long-term survival I will need medical advances," said Grunewald.

Eventually, Chip Gaines learned all of that. But, he'd found his trainer; Gabe sent him a marathon training schedule, then went to Texas to cheer him on.

"He ran 5:20, I think, was his official time," said Grunewald.

And, now, it's officially her time. Gabe started her own foundation "Brave Like Gabe" to support rare cancer research. On Sunday, May 20th, the Foundation will host its first event, the Brave Like Gabe 5K at Lake Como Park in St. Paul.

"For me, it's just trying to stay brave and be brave going through all of this, and also just be brave enough to try to make a difference is really important to me," said Grunewald.

Brave Like Gabe. Stronger with each step.