Purdue student starts 100-mile walk in honor of Tyler Trent

Walking to Honor Tyler Trent (1)
Walking to honor Tyler Trent
Anna Carerra Tyler Trent
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) — On Sunday morning, Purdue student Aaron Lai took the first steps in what will be a long trip to Bloomington.

He barely slept Saturday night and just had some oatmeal before hitting the road for his journey around 7 a.m.

Lai will be walking 100 miles from his fraternity house in West Lafayette to IU’s Assembly Hall for Tuesday’s basketball game between the two teams.


Lai is walking on honor of Tyler Trent, the Purdue student who died after battling cancer. He’s raising money through a GoFundMe page for Trent’s Cancer Research Endowment.

Tyler Trent was honored Thursday night at the College Football Awards show. (Photo: ESPN)

He never met Tyler Trent, but says he was inspired by him. Plus, cancer is something that hits close to home.

"My grandfather had lung cancer and he passed away two years ago," said Lai. "He lived just like how Tyler Trent lived. He lived without regret in his life and he took every day gratefully and he was just an amazing man."

Since he started, Lai has walked through snow, wind and below-zero temperature conditions. He planned ahead and layered up.

"Everything's fine right now," said Lai. "The snow doesn't really bother me that much. Sometimes it gets in my eye, but besides that, everything's good. I actually had to take off my hood because I was getting a little hot."

He still has quite a way to go on his way to IU's Assembly Hall. Lai is passing the time by listening to music and thinking as he walks. He hopes people see what he's doing and get inspired, like he did.

"Live like Tyler lived and be grateful for every day," said Lai. "Whatever situation you're in, keep fighting."

Lai plans to take about two-and-a-half days to finish the trip.

Purdue students gather outside of Hovde Hall to remember Tyler Trent. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
A candlelight memorial took place in honor of Tyler Trent Wednesday January 9 in front of Hovde Hall on Purdue's campus. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
A candlelight memorial took place in honor of Tyler Trent Wednesday January 9 in front of Hovde Hall on Purdue's campus. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
Hundreds of students gathered outside Hovde Hall Wednesday evening in honor of Tyler Trent. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
Tyler Trent, Purdue's biggest fan and an inspiration to many, passed away on New Year's Day after a five year battle with cancer. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
Purdue students gather outside Hovde Hall to remember Tyler Trent. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
Tyler's parents share memories of Tyler and the work they will be doing for cancer research in Tyler's memory. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
Tyler's parents share memories of Tyler and the work they will be doing for cancer research in Tyler's memory. (Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)
(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WTHR)