Michelle Grinsel and Family
Michelle Grinsel

Michelle Grinsel · The Friendship Paddle 2015

Growing up in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan instilled in Michelle the values of conservation and protecting the things you love. In 2005, Michelle moved to sunny California with her husband – the two of them have worked at the Patagonia headquarters ever since. Michelle is passionate about her role as Director of Merchandising and is proud to be part of such a wonderful company and community. She loves the outdoors and derives great peace from nature.

Michelle is happily married to her wonderful husband, Mark, and together they have two beautiful little girls - River & Sea. The girls teach Michelle daily to be courageous, kind and to appreciate each moment. Nothing has made Michelle fight harder on this journey than her family. They are the reason she has forward momentum.

Michelle carries the BRCA gene and has known this for years while being carefully monitored. In 2013, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. She took this challenge head on with an aggressive chemo regimen, multiple surgeries and radiation. After a year and a half of treatments, she regained her strength and was fully engaged in both living and deeply enjoying her life. Right before her two year anniversary from diagnosis, she learned that her cancer had metastasized to stage IV.

In Michelle’s words, "Cancer has already taken enough from my family and I...so what drives me is to transform this challenging experience into something good. I believe that no matter your circumstances, you can always choose your attitude. If there is one thing I know for sure, it's that everything I’ve always wanted is just on the other side of fear. Living in the moment has helped me cope with these challenging circumstances and has illuminated every single aspect of my life."




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