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We Love Gabrielle

Gabrielle Dudley was an incredible woman who remains in the hearts and lives of all who knew her. Gabrielle lived a truly remarkable life, full of love, compassion, service, and faith in Jesus Christ. She loved spending her days helping those in need, enjoying time with her family and friends, and serving the Lord. She studied theology and business at S.P.U. before embarking on a long and successful career in development for non-profit institutions including the Washington State University, the University of Washington, Seattle Children's Hospital, and Seattle Pacific University. Much of her career was spent at Children's Hospital where she pioneered the major gift fundraising team and personally raised tens of millions of dollars for children in need. She continued to work in development at S.P.U. where she was a development director, ensuring that thousands of students could have access to high quality Christian education through scholarships.

Gabrielle was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer in January, 2013. This was heart-wrenching news. Despite the difficulty of her situation, Gabrielle relied on her faith in God, and summoned all the strength she had to fight this disease valiantly. She fought cancer with bravery, grace, humility, hope, and humor. She remained a cancer survivor for more than six years after her initial diagnosis-- a length of time that none of her physicians predicted. Her cancer battle was fought, as she liked to say, as a team. Gabrielle was blessed with incredible friends, family, church community, and even strangers who heard of her story. She documented deeply personal and profound thoughts she had on her blog: and through it, her story served to inspire thousands of people. At a time when many would become bitter, turn away from faith, or simply give up, Gabrielle found joy in whatever small moments she could, drawing closer to Jesus, and continuing to fight the good fight as long as she had strength.

The fact that Gabrielle lived well beyond her predicted survival time was due in no small part to the excellent medical staff, drugs, and technological advancements that have been made available to her through the research done at organizations like Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Hutch has pioneered many ground-breaking medical advancements including bone marrow transplant and immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Researchers at the Hutch are currently developing immunotherapy as a treatment for ovarian cancer, and they have studied mutations in BRCA2 that can inform treatment strategies.

As you may know, ovarian-cancer has been called the "silent killer" because it is rarely diagnosed at an early stage. Hutch researchers studying ovarian cancer have pinpointed three proteins that exist in increasing levels in patients' blood three to four years prior to their ovarian-cancer diagnosis. This incredible research at the Hutch could help identify those women who would go on to develop ovarian-cancer years ahead with a simple blood test. And this alone is so crucial, as the prognosis for people with Stage 1 ovarian cancer is significantly better than for those with Stage 3 or 4.

As her family, it is our greatest joy to know that Gabrielle is in heaven with her Creator. For those of us who remain, we will always love her, and we will strive to serve others with love, compassion, and hard work the way she did. And what better way to honor Gabrielle than to try and emulate her life’s work with a little fund-raising activity of our own? Or, if you will, perhaps you can think of it as Gabrielle’s last great “ask”, as those in her field refer to the moment when a donation is solicited. Please consider honoring Gabrielle with a donation to this amazing research at the Fred Hutch. Your gift, through this page will be dedicated exclusively to ovarian-cancer research. We hope and pray that this excellent research continues until ovarian cancer is cured. Gabrielle would be so pleased that her life’s work in serving others through non-profit fund raising has continued for such a worthy and noble cause.