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U.S. Paralympics Swimming Mourns The Loss Of 14-Year-Old Grace Bunke

By U.S. Paralympics | March 26, 2018, 11:04 a.m. (ET)

Grace Bunke, pictured at the December 2017 Can-Am Open in Charlotte, passed away at the age of 14.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - The U.S. Paralympics Swimming community mourns the loss of Grace Bunke, who passed away on Sunday to cancer at the age of 14. She had been courageously battling osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer.

Bunke, who would have celebrated her 15th birthday on Monday, began competing with U.S. Paralympics Swimming at the Cincinnati Para-Swimming Open in May 2016. She was then internationally classified at the Can-Am in Gatineau, Quebec in July 2016. A Paralympic hopeful, Bunke received a national team cap with her name on it at the Can-Am Open in December.


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Bunke was a beloved teammate for U.S. Paralympics Swimming. Her brave, strong fight against cancer did not go unnoticed by teammates, friends and family. Several teammates would honor Bunke’s fight against cancer by writing GRACE on their hands.

“Today is a very sad day for the entire Paralympic community,” said Julie Dussliere, vice president of U.S. Paralympics. “Grace was an incredible friend, teammate and young woman who had a bright future ahead of her. Grace faced cancer with wisdom beyond her years, and she touched the lives of everyone in our program who crossed her path.”

For more information on the arrangements to honor Bunke’s life, please visit her CaringBridge page.