Through cancer battle, Purdue student finds support and encouragement in sports community

CARMEL, Ind. – Through everything that has changed for Tyler Trent the past four years, his positivity persists.

"When you're living with a life or death disease, your appreciation for things, even small things, changes,” Trent explained. “Because I don't know if I am going to wake up tomorrow, that's not guaranteed, so I just have to trust the Lord and what today brings and take advantage of today."

Trent is battling another bout with osteosarcoma. The Carmel native was first diagnosed in 2014, and a scan of his back late last year revealed a new tumor on his spine.

"One thing I've learned from having cancer so many times is that if you aren't trying to live a normal life and do normal things and act the way you would whether you have cancer or not, you tend to spiral to a place that is unhealthy."

For Tyler, living that normal life means not only attending sporting events as a fan, but to also continue covering them for the Purdue student newspaper, The Purdue Exponent. The outpouring of support from the sports community includes gifts from his fellow Boilers and an invitation to the Colts complex.

"Meeting Andrew Luck was just a really humbling experience,” Trent said of meeting the Colts quarterback during the team’s mini-camp in June. “He's such a nice guy and that he would just take time out of his day to encourage me and have a conversation with me is really cool.  And definitely encourages me to fight every day receiving all that encouragement."

Throughout the summer, Tyler is going through radiation at Riley Hospital for Children.

"We're just trying to stop it from growing, not even kill it so that's just hard enough in and of itself."

Tyler has now not only taken on his fight but also fought to raise money for Riley's pediatric cancer research, partnering with Barstool Purdue for a raffle of Purdue gear and an autographed magazine.

"Since there hasn't been a real development in 30 years in osteosarcoma, I want to do everything in my power to help find that breakthrough."

With plans to return to Purdue in the fall for his sophomore year, Tyler is taking every day in stride and trusting in his faith.

"But I’m trusting in the Lord with whatever he has planned, it’s going to turn out for good and I'm going to be okay with whatever happens."

To find out more on the Riley fundraiser and Tyler's journey, you can follow him on Twitter.