Buffalo, NY - A Buffalo teenager who is on a journey to lose weight has inspired several groups in our community to come together to help young people lead healthier lives.
"Nobody else can lose the weight for you, so you've got to do it for yourself," says Elijah Harris.
Harris is determined to make a lifestyle change.
"It's just something you've got to dive head first into," he says.
The high school freshman's favorite TV show is The Biggest Loser, and one trainer in particular serves as his inspiration. That trainer is Dolvett Quince, who came to Buffalo last fall.
Harris and his mom had plans to see Quince, but it almost didn't happen. They were so excited, they forgot to RSVP.
"It's seemed like a miracle with that that we were able to get in," says Harris.
Not only did they get in, Harris went up on stage.
"What was your question?" asked Channel 2's Kelly Dudzik.
"My question was: My name is Elijah Harris, I'm 15 years old. How do I start my weight loss journey? Then he called out my name and my mom started crying," says Harris.
And, it didn't end there.
Harris and his mom will spend a week at the Biggest Loser Resort Niagara free of charge.
"It takes a family. It gets hard, but it's fun, it can be fun," says his mother about their weight loss journey.
Soon, Team Elijah will form. Forty-nine students from Buffalo Schools will join Harris in a journey to become healthier, and they will train for three months to run a race together.
"What do you think that's going to feel like crossing that finish line?" asked Dudzik.
"Like a big weight lifted off my shoulders, you know, I never thought I would be able to do something like that a long time ago," says Harris.
Quince remains in touch with Harris. He just sent him an autographed book.
"He said that a weight loss journey is one step at a time, and it's hard at first, but then it gets easier. I know that it's meant to happen, you know, that's why it happened so fast because it was God's plan," says Harris.
All of this leads up to The Biggest Loser Race at the end of August. Harris and his 49 teammates will run the 5K. There is also a one mile fun run planned and a half-marathon.