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Tyler Trent (1998 - 2019), Purdue superfan battled cancer

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His battle against bone cancer inspired others

Tyler Trent (1998 – 2019) was a Purdue University student who inspired others with his enthusiastic support for his college football team while battling a rare form of bone cancer.  Trent captured national media attention in 2018 for correctly predicting Purdue’s upset of Ohio State, then ranked #2 in the nation. It was his first game back to campus after entering hospice care. 

His story inspired people to donate more than $100,000 to cancer research and he was honored with the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Spirit Award in 2018. He was named honorary bowl captain and attended the pregame coin toss as Purdue faced off against Auburn in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. 

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Died: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 (Who else died on January 1?) 

Details of death: Died of osteosarcoma at the age of 20.


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His attitude inspired others: He was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 15. He won his first fight against the disease and achieved his dream of attending Purdue University. The cancer returned just months before his first classes in the fall of 2017. Throughout his hard-fought battle, he maintained a positive attitude and frequently attended football games decked out in team colors.

Notable quote: “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. 

“Yet isn’t that a choice we all have every day? After all, nobody knows the amount of days we have left. Some could say we are all in hospice to a certain degree,” he wrote in the Indianapolis Star 

What people said about him: “What gave him a sense of love and purpose touched all of us and inspired all of us. There was no quit in him. There was a lot of fight in him. It’s like you couldn’t get him down. While I’m sure he was in pain and suffering, he put a smile on his face.” —Jeff Brohm, head coach of Purdue 

“Rest In Peace to my friend, my captain, my brother, my hero. You inspired us all by the way you lived. I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again. Forever #Tyler”  —David Blough, Purdue quarterback 

Full obituary: Indianapolis Star 

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 - Brody Stephens (2008 - 2017), terminally ill boy who befriended Stephen Curry

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