Saint Anselm alumna passes away after a hard fought battle with brain cancer


Twitter\Saint Anselm Women’s Basketball

The late Jen Gurecks, ’11.

Karoline Leavitt, Crier Staff

It has been a rather sad week for the Saint Anselm Women’s Basketball program. Former standout Jennifer Gureckis, class of 2011, lost her battle to cancer on Sunday April 23 surrounded by her loving family.

Jen was a Nashua native who began playing hoops at a very young age. She was the member of multiple teams, and had a strong career at New Hampton Prep School in New Hampton, NH.

She was named Female Athlete of the Year and was an All-American nominee. These impressive accolades led to her membership on the women’s basketball team at Saint Anselm, where she had a prominent role in the team’s success for her first three years.

In the midst of her senior season after getting off to the best start of her college career, Jen was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After one year of courageously fighting through treatment, and still managing to graduate with a degree in Biology, in 2011 Jen had officially beat cancer and was in remission.

Unfortunately, the cancer returned and would ultimately take Jen’s beautiful life away, but she never let the horrific disease define her.

It is written in Jen’s obituary that, “she had the happiest smile and the brightest eyes through it all. Her compassion for the well-being of others always exceeded any discomfort for herself.”

Not only was Jen a compassionate, positive person, she was an outstanding teammate and athlete. Her obituary reads, “throughout her victories and setbacks, her iron will and fierce determination always found the way to get to the gym.”

The Saint Anselm Women’s Basketball team acknowledged this strength, tweeting, “Our hearts are heavy today with the news of Jen Gureckis passing. Rest easy Jen, your strength has been a true inspiration to everyone.”

All Saint Anselm athletes and students alike can certainly learn from Jen’s relentless strength and positive attitude, even through the most difficult of times.

Anyone who is touched by Jen’s story may donate to The Jenny Fund GoFundMe page. The donations will support Jen’s Mass General Hospital cancer team, as they push for a cure through the Transitional Brain Tumor Immunology Laboratory and other progressive outreach programs.