KASOTA, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Michael boy in the fight of his life against cancer got to live out a dream on Saturday.

Eleven-year-old Tyler Purohit was diagnosed with brain cancer in February. And after weeks of chemo and radiation, it was time to finish the first phase of his treatment.

On Saturday, he put on his camo, hopped in a tank, and for an afternoon put his worries behind him.

“I really hope I don’t crash the tank. So yeah, I’ll try not to,” Tyler said.

Before steering tons of steel, Tyler learned safety, military history and most importantly, how to drive.

Tyler is familiar with patience. His father, Manoj Purohit, said since he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in February, his treatment has been difficult at best. He’s had six straight weeks of chemo and radiation.

“These things help keep his spirits up. And they just provide the lift to help him see the next challenge,” Purohit said.

Rolling through woods and water, Tyler gets to experience what he says his military heroes live daily; heroes like his dad who also served.

“I have a really deep respect for the military. So I would kind of like to be able to see what they do and be able to do one of the things that they do – and that’s drive tanks,” Tyler said.

And on this adventure, Tyler is not alone. His family, including two older brothers, are by his side – right where they’ve been throughout his battle. They’ve shared the good times, encouraging him to keep moving forward.

Tyler’s stepmom set up the whole thing with Drive A Tank in Kasota. It’s the only place in the country where the public can drive a tank.

Tyler is currently in his second phase of treatment.


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