Purdue superfan Tyler Trent, who died in early January from a rare form of bone cancer, was honored Tuesday by a fellow Boilermaker who completed a nearly 100-mile walk from West Lafayette, Indiana, to Bloomington for the team's game against the rival Indiana Hoosiers, raising more than $20,000 in the process.
Purdue student Aaron Lai announced the walk on Jan. 20 in an effort to raise awareness for Trent's story and cancer research. Lai never met Trent but said he reminded him of his grandfather, who had lung cancer.
Many first learned about Trent and his connection to the Boilermakers football team when he correctly predicted Purdue's upset of Ohio State on Oct. 20 during a feature on him on ESPN's College GameDay.
Lai began his trek before dawn Sunday morning from West Lafayette.
With a belly full of oatmeal and several layers of clothes, he's off! @alai2016 just began his 100 mile walk from WL to Bloomington for @theTylerTrent. He will arrive Tuesday afternoon for @BoilerBall vs @IndianaMBB. Special report Tuesday on @WLFI. #TylerStrong #NeverGiveUpT2 pic.twitter.com/4VWssqec4b— Trevor Peters (@TrevorPetersTV) February 17, 2019
He arrived three days and 99.6 miles later at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, some 40 minutes before Purdue-Indiana tipped off. Tyler's parents, Tony and Kelly Trent, were there to welcome him.
What a moment! Aaron Lai's 100 mile journey comes to an end..with an open-armed welcome from @TonyTrent10 and @Kat9798. Aaron's journey has raised more than $18,000 for the #TylerTrent Cancer Research Endowment. All I can say is: Awesome! #TylerStrong pic.twitter.com/tV4Hr60t25— Nick McGill (@NickMcGillTV) February 20, 2019
Kelly Trent took to Twitter to show her gratitude:
"What an amazing young man you are and what an accomplishment. Just WOW! Words are inadequate for our gratefulness for your sacrifice."
As of Tuesday night, Lai's Go Fund Me -- "A Walk for Tyler Trent" -- had raised more than $21,000, easily surpassing its $10,000 goal. Money raised would benefit the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment, and will be matched by the Walter Foundation, according to Lai.
Purdue won Tuesday night's game 48-46 on a tip-in with 3.2 seconds left.