WASHINGTON, D.C. — The parents of Tyler Trent, whose battle with cancer inspired far beyond his home state of Indiana, will meet Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday and attend the State of the Union address in the evening.
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks invited Tony and Kelly Trent to President Donald Trump’s address, saying she was moved by their son’s story. The Purdue University student died Jan. 1 at the age of 20, after his third battle with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
His positive attitude in the face of terminal cancer generated awareness — and donations — from across the country in the fight against the disease. The dedicated Purdue football fan was the subject of ESPN features; received Indiana’s highest civilian honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash; and won Disney’s Wide World of Sports Spirit Award, given to college football’s most inspirational individual or team.
“I thought the country could use an uplifting message and an uplifting story around the State of the Union when we seem to be so focused on our problems,” Brooks told IndyStar, “whether it’s with the government shutdown or what the State of the Union is.”