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2 Jan 2019

Purdue's Tyler Trent Dies After Battling Bone Cancer

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.

Trent's story, bolstered by his extraordinary maturity and positivity inspired millions and, in turn, generated awareness and donations for cancer research. The Purdue super fan was the subject of ESPN features, named an honorary team captain for the Old Oaken Bucket game and received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor for Indiana civilians.

In December, he won Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award, given annually to college football's most inspirational individual or team.

"His passion for life, his passion for Purdue football, his passion to do whatever he could, even in the midst of this crazy, horrible journey that he was on," said Jamie Renbarger, Trent's doctor at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. "He still wanted to help people. He was just a really genuine human being."

Trent was born on Sept. 7, 1998, the oldest of three boys to Tony and Kelly Trent. He was always wiser than his years, his family said, a true big brother to Ethan and Blake.

His parents tell the story of a tiny Trent at dinner parties. The kids would be off playing somewhere else — and Trent would go with them, as long as he could stand it. But it didn't take long before Tony and Kelly would see Trent creeping back toward the adults, trying to soak in everything he could hear them say.

Source: indystar

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