Tyler Trent, Purdue superfan and cancer activist, memorialized at funeral


INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of dignitaries and sports figures were among those who attended the funeral for Purdue University superfan and cancer activist Tyler Trent on Tuesday night.

In a sanctuary of an Indianapolis church featuring many items of sports memorabilia collected by Trent, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb read a message from Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. Holcomb said the state and the nation were inspired by Trent’s courage and bravery fighting the bone cancer that took his life Jan. 1.

Many speakers cited Trent’s deep faith. Purdue quarterback David Blough said Trent would want the evening “to be all about Jesus.”

Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm attended with many members of the Purdue football team wearing black jerseys.

The Boilermaker Special locomotive mascot was parked outside the church.

At the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan, the Spartans men’s basketball team announced it will remember Trent with a banner, which fans will be able to sign before Tuesday’s game against the Boilermakers.

Trent was 20 when he died following a battle with a rare bone cancer he was first diagnosed with at age 15.

He entered Purdue in the fall of 2017 while undergoing chemotherapy and gained national attention during 2018 by becoming the adopted captain of the Boilermakers football team.

Trent became a social media star with his positive attitude and determination to live every day to the fullest.

He earned an associate degree in computer information technology from Purdue, which will hold a Wednesday evening memorial honoring him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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