‘Closing the gap for a cure’: Team of 12 living with Parkinson’s Disease to run in Blue Ridge Relay

Renee Trent from Lynchburg will be participating in Team Synapse, raising awareness and funds to help find a cure for PD

LYNCHBURG, Va. – This group is showing the world that nothing is impossible.

Team Synapse, comprised of 12 runners all living with Parkinson’s Disease, will participate in one of the most grueling relays in September – the Blue Ridge Relay – and one of those runners is from Lynchburg, according to the release.

The team will only have 35 hours to reach the finish line during the Blue Ridge Relay, the release said, and the 208-mile race is broken into 36 segments for teams to rotate through each member, meaning each person will run nearly 18 miles.

According to the release, Renee Trent from Lynchburg is part of Team Synapse, and she said she is glad to be a part of a team that raises awareness and funds to help find a cure for PD.

“We all share the passion of running and inspiring others who have Parkinson’s to tap into the ability to slow the progression of the disease,” Renee said. “We want a visible example of what you can do while living with Parkinson’s, all while raising money for a cure.”

Renee was diagnosed with PD in 2017, the release said, and she said that her diagnosis had a major impact on her.

“It was a huge blow to be a healthy 47-year-old and told this disease will not kill you, but will slowly take away your ability to move and be independent,” Renee said.

And, Renee is a strong believer that exercise can help those with the disease.

“Rest is rust, and motion is lotion,” Renee said. “When I had an injury and had to stop running, my tremors were unbearable.”

The release said that Renee had big goals as a runner, and even chose to chase after qualifying for the Boston Marathon, but then COVID hit, causing her goal to be delayed. Since the peak-COVID-era has subsided, Renee hit that goal of qualifying for the marathon last year, according to the release.

Now, Renee hopes to get accepted next Spring, and she’s taking on the Blue Ridge Relay as an added challenge, she said.

“The Blue Ridge Relay Race is a huge challenge with the elevation. Most of the team don’t have hills, much less mountains to train on.Living and training in the Blue ridge area of the state gives me an advantage,” Renee said.

Renee went on to say that being part of such an incredible team is challenging her in new ways, too.

“Being part of this team has been a humbling experience,” Renee said. “To be asked to run with those whom I have chosen to follow as examples. I only hope to do the same for others.”

If you want to donate or learn more about Team Synapse on their website.


About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.