Trent's parents will also visit Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.

By Emily Caron
February 05, 2019

The parents of Purdue super fan Tyler Trent will attend Tuesday's State of the Union address in Washington D.C., where they will also meet Vice President Mike Pence.

Trent passed away on New Year's Day following his long battle with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Trent was just 20 years old when he died, but his legacy as one of the Boilermakers most inspirational fans extends far beyond his home state of Indiana. 

His story inspired U.S. Rep Susan Brooks to invite Trent's parents, Tony and Kelly, to President Donald Trump's address, according to the Indianapolis Star. The Trent family will meet with Pence–and Indiana native and former U.S. House of Representatives member from the state–before at the White House. 

"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 the Star, "whether it's with the government shutdown or what the State of the Union is."

Trent's parents accepted the invitation and told The Star that it was "an amazing opportunity."

"It's an incredible opportunity and an incredible blessing to go and be a part of it regardless of if you agree or disagree with politics," Tony Trent said. "It's an amazing opportunity to be in the White House … to think about our forefathers and the founding of our country."

Tony added that if Tyler were still alive, he would be in awe and humbled at his parents' invitation. 

Tyler's impact was evident before his passing. The 20-year-old former Purdue student Trent was the subject of several ESPN features, received Indiana's highest civilian honor–the Sagamore of the Wabash–and won Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award.

He was also on Purdue's sideline for its win over then-No. 2 Ohio State in October after predicting the win and announced the Boilermakers' bowl matchup in the Music City Bowl against Auburn on Twitter before being flown to the game by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay in a private jet. 

The Boilermakers honored Tyler after his passing, as did several other members of the sports community.

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