The Story Behind Inspirational 2018 Disney Spirit Award Winner

Former Purdue University student Tyler Trent has been named the 2018 Disney Spirit Award winner. Here is his inspirational story!

Disney Spirit Award

Disney Spirit Award trophy. Photo courtesy of Disney Sports.

2018 Disney Spirit Award Winner

Twenty-year-old Tyler Trent is a former Purdue University student who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2015. Despite his condition, he has inspired thousands across the nation with his courageous story.

Trent is a Purdue University Football super fan who quickly caught the attention of Head Coach Jeff Brohm in 2017. Brohm noticed Trent camped out in line hoping to be the first Purdue student to get tickets for the big Purdue v. Michigan game. “I remember he had a big smile on his face. He didn’t tell me his story. He didn’t tell me what he was going through. He just had a positive attitude and brought a lot of life to the conversation,” Brohm said. Soon Trent became a fixture within the football program.


Trent’s inspirational story quickly gained traction on big news sites like USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, and ESPN. What makes Trent’s story so amazing is that while enduring his own battle with cancer, he still found a way to help others. He recently started an organization called Teens with a Cause that recruits teens for service projects to help families affected by cancer.

His commitment to helping others while waging his own personal battle with cancer is what the Disney Spirit Award is all about. Tune in to The Home Depot College Football Awards live on ESPN December 6th at 7 p.m. EST to watch as Disney Sports Vice President Faron Kelly presents the award to this year’s well-deserved winner. Congratuations, Tyler!

By Courtney Reynolds

Want more attraction updates?  Subscribe today!