ABC’s “Good Morning America” aired a piece Monday about Tyler Trent’s visit to the Ohio State at Purdue football game that reduced the on-air personalities to near tears.
Trent is a recent Purdue associate degree graduate and Exponent staff member who is fighting terminal bone cancer. He was able to be at Ross-Ade Stadium for Purdue’s 49-20 dramatic victory over then-No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday.
ESPN’s College GameDay did a feature on Saturday morning that also brought national attention to Trent’s plight.
Monday morning’s three-minute ABC segment was titled, “Superfan inspires epic upset: Student battling terminal cancer predicted stunning win.” During the segment, the broadcast showed Purdue alumnus and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees connecting with Trent via phone video.
Brees told Trent, “Hey Tyler, what’s up, buddy, Drew Brees (here). Hey buddy, I was right with you (Saturday) night watching the Boilers beat the Ohio State Buckeyes. You predicted it man. You inspire us. You inspire so many, you inspire the Boilermaker team, you inspire me. We love you man and you are one of the greatest Boilermakers.”
Trent responded to the call from his Carmel, Indiana bed.
“He believed in me and the Boilermaker Nation believed in me,” Trent said with his father at his side. “Awesome, it’s hard to find words.”
Superfan inspires epic upset as Purdue beats Ohio State; student battling terminal cancer predicts stunning win that comes true! Grab the tissues... @tjholmes reports. https://t.co/T3gtmmd6PF pic.twitter.com/QR5GwIEmek— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 22, 2018
Co-anchor TJ Holmes got choked up after the piece aired.
“Now, he’s been dealing with cancer since he was 15, but he still wanted to go to Purdue,” Holmes said. “He’s now had to get out of Purdue; he’s not enrolled. He’s had to have treatments, but now he doesn’t have the strength. The campus has supported him. Fans can be mean to the opposing team, but the students that were supporting him chanted not at the opposing team, (but) ‘cancer sucks, cancer sucks.’
“I watched that whole game and he was very much a part of that broadcast and this is one of those sports stories,” Holmes said, then paused to regain his composure. “It was tailor made, it’s one of those things where sports can mean so much folks … the strength just to go to the game – you talk about what they pulled off – for him to just physically be in the stadium was a big deal.”
Fellow anchor George Stephanopoulos grasped Holmes' arm and said, “Even you can’t get through this piece.”
Then co-anchor Robin Roberts reacted to Holmes' comments, tearing up herself.
“That young man how he’s living his life right now, woo,” she said.
Also on Monday, Trent's situation was discussion on the Dan Dakich show.
The incredibly tough and inspirational @theTylerTrent joined @DanDakich earlier this afternoon. Whether by yourself or with family, take a listen.@1070thefan https://t.co/mWXpFAmY1Bcc: @BoilerFootball @PurdueSports @LifeAtPurdue pic.twitter.com/a1OZ4TG2l7— Producer Kyle (@ProducerKyle) October 22, 2018
ESPN's Adam Schefter also Tweeted about Trent yesterday.
Who wasn't touched by @theTylerTrent's story this weekend? When I asked him if I could do anything to help, he DMd to please pass around the link in his bio and encourage people to donate to pediatric cancer research.So: https://t.co/Av1Tsj6p41— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2018
And Pardon My Take, an online podcast, Tweeted about Trent today.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill also took to social media about Trent's plight.
During his weekly press availability on Monday, Coach Jeff Brohm talked about Trent, too.
WTHR-TV in Indianapolis did a story about Trent on Monday, too.
"I never really thought I could inspire people," said Tyler. "But I think once you physically kind of see it and start to experience it, then you believe it." https://t.co/7oHa39dHjC— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) October 23, 2018
Editor's Note: This story was changed to reflect TJ Holmes was one the anchors. We had misidentified that person in an earlier version.