Remembering Tyler Trent, the inspiring Purdue fan

The former Purdue University student and Boilermakers fan passed away Wednesday from bone cancer at the age of 20.
5:05 | 01/03/19

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Transcript for Remembering Tyler Trent, the inspiring Purdue fan
Brother. Fighter. Inspiration. Cocaptain. Tyler Trent, the Purdue university sophomore whose battle with cancer stirred a football team and eventually touched a nation, has died. He was 20 years old. One, two, three -- Reporter: Before the weight loss and the compromised speech and the partial paralysis, Tyler's fight began long before he ever came to Purdue. At 15 his life changed during a summer game of Frisbee with friends. When I went and I threw that Frisbee, I actually broke my arm. Because my bone was so weak from the tumor eating it away. Reporter: It was osteo sarcoma, bone cancer. Your first thought? Will he make it? Will we be able to beat it? Reporter: In October 2014, doctors replaced the top half of Tyler's arm, from shoulder to elbow, with titanium. After nine months of grueling chemotherapy, remission. And two years of cancer-free life. And then, four months before entering Purdue on a presidential scholarship, the cancer returned. The first thing I said to my doctor, I don't care how hard it is, but I'm going to school on time. Reporter: In September 2017, Tyler had surgery to replace his pelvis. 11 days later, he started school on time. Guided by faith and driven by his fandom, not crutches nor chemo sessions stopped Tyler from making sure he'd have tickets for the Michigan game last season. He said, dad, I'm going to go camp out so I can be first in line, so I can have a front-row seat. And I said, Tyler, do you really need to do that? And he said, yes, dad, I need to do it. Reporter: Head coach Jeff Brahm was among the first to see him. He didn't tell me his story, didn't tell me what he was going through. He had a positive attitude and brought a lot of life to the conversation. I thought it was a one-time thing. I thought coach brohm was coming over to say hi to him and that would be it. Reporter: It wasn't. From being on the field as an honorary captain last season, to being back for the season opener this year, all while the cancer spread to his spine, forcing him to leave school this fall. After the boilermakers beat Nebraska, September 29th, the team knew what they wanted to do the next day. What's up, buddy? Got a little gift for our team captain, man. I appreciate that. We thank you for this time that we just get to spend here together. We ask for healing in your name. Amen. Amen. Amen. Thank you. How did he look to you? To me, he looks like a boilermaker. He looks like somebody who's going to fight until there is no fight. How do you see the future? Well, immediate term, it's a harsh thg. Reporter: Trent traveled from home to watch his team, a double-digit underdog, take on the Buckeyes. He is in hospice at home and wanted so desperately to be able to come here and be a part of this night. Just to be here is a wave of emotions. Touchdown! Every boilermaker, they all say, Tyler this win is for you. Thank you. Thank you. Any time. Reporter: It was that fighting spirit, that unflinching will that captivated so many in the last months of Trent's life. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you rely on your faith, things will work out. Reporter: Trent's courage in the face of mortality and his message of gratitude in the midst of struggle inspired donations to the V foundation and the creation of a cancer research endowment in his name Trent's life has ended. His legacy remains. And while he never donned pads or caught passes, never scored a touchdown or made a tackle, he will be a cocaptain named by his teammates in perpetuity for so many seasons yet to come.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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