WILMINGTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It was a year ago that Miamisburg runner Jenna Parlette died.
But every day since, her spirit has been influencing those who knew and loved her, and those who learn about how she lived.
The 20-year-old Wilmington College student died after collapsing during a race. She battled epilepsy and an irregular heartbeat, but she lived every second, especially when she laced up her shoes.
So, that’s how friends honored her Wednesday. Doing what she loved most – running.
“I had no idea how many people were going to show up,” said Tricia Steffen. “But Jenna was very loved so I knew it was going to be good.”
Tricia and Jenna were teammates and friends. On her shirt, is Jenna’s motto: You run with your legs, you win with your heart.
Jenna had soul, and her legacy will live on in more ways than one.
Her mother is working to raise money to build the “Jenna Parlette Running Center” on campus.
For Wilmington College track coach Ron Combs, that is a prospect he finds exciting. “To think that we could have a building with Jenna’s name on it on campus that we could do running programs for local youths, middle school kids, high school kids, college meets.”
“She wanted to inspire others, and clearly that’s what she’s doing, Steffen said. “Wilmington college is still Jenna strong: Working hard, smiling, caring for others and caring for others and enjoying life.”
To donate to the project on campus to build the indoor running and training center in Jenna’s name, you can donate to Wilmington College, or the foundation website of jennastrong.com