Tyler Trent has died at the age of 20 after battling bone cancer per the Indy Star. Trent became a symbol of the 2018 college football season for his fight and determination. Trent’s dedication to Purdue and his brave fight with cancer became an inspiration to fans throughout the country. The Indy Star detailed what is known about Trent’s death.
Tyler Trent, the Purdue student who sparked hope amid tears from a nation that followed his journey with terminal cancer, has died. He was 20 years old.
Trent, who was battling a third round with the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma, died Tuesday the family confirmed to IndyStar.
The unlikely sports hero — a scrawny kid with a shy grin, near perfect SAT score and dreams of becoming a national sportswriter — broke through the cluttered world of social media, inspiring a flood of support nationwide.
Despite going through treatments, Trent frequently traveled to see Purdue play, including the Boilermakers recent bowl game. Trent showed gratitude and a sense of humor even though he had every reason to be discouraged. One of the many examples occurred on ESPN’s Sportscenter where Trent made a bet with anchor Scott Van Pelt on the Maryland-Purdue basketball game. Van Pelt had to wear the Purdue logo on his head on the show as a result of losing the friendly wager.
Here’s a look at the segment:
Trent Had a Rare Form of Cancer Known as Osteosarcoma
Trent had a rare form of cancer known as osteosarcoma. Here’s how Web MD describes the form of cancer.
Osteosarcoma, sometimes called osteogenic sarcoma, is the most common kind of bone cancer in children and teens. It can affect adults, too, but teenage boys are most likely to get it.
It happens when the cells that grow new bone form a cancerous tumor. The treatment for osteosarcoma — chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor — is usually successful when the disease is diagnosed early on, before it can spread.
Days Before His Death, Trent Wrote a Letter About All He Was Grateful For
Just days before his death, Trent penned a letter in the News-Press about all the things for which he was thankful. Trent noted that every day he had a choice to “make that day the best it can be.” For the Purdue football team and fans across the country, he did just that.
Here’s an excerpt from Trent’s letter.
After much Googling and common sense in class, I figured out that the tumor growing on my L3 spine was causing me to slowly lose the ability to use the left side of my upper body, as well as my legs. The tumor paralyzed me from the waist down, but it wasn’t until my mom back home in Carmel, Indiana, saw that I wasn’t tweeting like normal that she realized something was wrong…
I am extremely grateful that even though I had to endure that grueling pain and surgery, and later in the week spent an entire day throwing up and running a fever due to the surgery, I was able to attend that football game with my family and experience all the love and support. Not only from Purdue fans, but from across the nation, including Ohio State fans.
Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be. To make the most of whomever comes to visit, texts, tweets or calls me.