Buffalo, NY -- The Biggest Loser RunWalk is coming to Buffalo this summer.
Its organizers, two former Biggest Loser contestants, have a lot in common with a Buffalo teenager who is trying to lose weight. That teen is Elijah Harris. He is 15 and says he has struggled with his weight for most of his life.
"Take it one step at a time, and that a lot of times people don't have support systems at home, so you should really just have faith in God," says Harris.
Harris will train for the Biggest Loser RunWalk throughout the summer with 49 of his peers chosen from Buffalo Schools. The strong support he gets from his family will give him strength along the way.
"It was like a weight knowing that as a mother, you're the one buying the groceries and all of that. When you go to the doctor, that's what they tell you, so they're not trying to blame you but at the same time, they tell you that you do have more control than you realize," says Elijah's mom, Sheena Harris.
Two people who can relate to the Harris family have struggled with their weight, as well.
"It's such a great story because of course me, as the mom, Dan and I we were the mother and son duo on Season 5, and I understand a mother's plight in a sense," says race organizer Jackie Evans.
Evans is a former Biggest Loser contestant, and she is all too familiar with the journey the Harris family has begun.
"Dan was 310 pounds, and I didn't know how to help him. But how could I help him? I couldn't help myself. So when I hear about Elijah, you know, 15 years old, who is trying to take it into his own hands, you know what I mean? And make something happen for himself. It will change him forever," says Evans.
Jackie lost 89 pounds on the show. Her son Dan, who is also a musician, lost 136.
"I tried out for the Biggest Loser when I was 19 years old. So, I was very aware of that struggle at the age of 15. It's something that's a very difficult and interesting dynamic to grow up in your youth, you know? Your high school years when so many fun things are going on. Every pool party that I was invited to that I was terrified to show up to," explains Dan Evans.
Jackie and Dan now travel around the country hosting the Biggest Loser RunWalk.
"It says it right in the title. It's a run. It's a walk. It's about moving at your own pace. It's about completing," says Dan.
On August 31, Elijah will do the 5K.
Both mother-son duos hope this encourages Western New York families to lead healthier lives.
"As a mom, you feel really bad for your child, but they have to come from a place where they're going - I'm ready, this is my time I'm doing it. So I tell you what, Elijah makes everything I do worthwhile," says Jackie.
"I know that a kid like that has so much potential, and knowing that a weight struggle to hold you back from so much life ahead of you is just a shame, so I'm excited I'm very excited to just be a part of the support," says Dan.
We will follow Elijah's journey as he trains for the Biggest Loser RunWalk throughout the summer.
And, if you'd like to sign up for it, just click here.