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Cancer won battle, but Purdue superfan may win the war


This doesn’t happen, not any part of this story, but there she was. There was Dr. Karen Pollok of Riley Hospital for Children, a cancer researcher who studies the tissue of kids she doesn’t know – kids she will never meet – approaching a front door in Carmel.

Dr. Pollock was about to meet a kid who’d donated his tumor, a kid with two weeks to live, a kid who wanted to know, before he was gone, what was happening under all those microscopes.

She was about to meet Tyler Trent.

She was nervous, because this doesn’t happen. None of it. A kid from Carmel, Indiana, doesn’t start a worldwide movement by finishing a chemotherapy session at Riley in August 2017 and driving back to campus at Purdue, where he camps out before a Boilermakers football game and draws the attention of coach Jeff Brohm – from there embarking on a journey that would carry his name to the ends of the earth and back to Carmel, where it all started.

Nov 24, 2018; Bloomington, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers fan and coin flip participant Tyler Trent looks on from on the field before a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium.

Where Dr. Pollok is about to knock on that front door.

She’s nervous, because she’s devoted her life to finding the cure for pediatric cancer, but she’s never done this. Never met a kid who’d asked his doctors, when they were removing part of his right arm and later part of his pelvis, to save some of the tumor and give it to someone like Dr. Karen Pollok to study.





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