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Taylor's Heroes

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Buffalo: Taylor's Heroes
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The program is called Taylor's Heroes. It's a legacy of a fallen soldier who lives through children he's helping.

"It feels kind of bad, you feel like you can do more, but your body says you can't."

Kevin Renaud, 13, loved basketball but lacked confidence to play. He reminds Leslie Miller of her son Taylor, who was bullied for being overweight.

Miller said, "He'd be frustrated about how he felt. He didn't always associate being tired with being overweight, but he certainly understood the feeling of not being included when it was time to be picked for a game."

It wasn't until Taylor decided to join the Army did he lose weight and gain confidence.

Leslie Miller said, "You could feel when he came into the room. He was a friendly kid anyway; now it was friendly but it with a great big smile because he knew he had found himself. He knew what he could be."

Sadly, not long after he was in Afghanistan, Taylor was killed by a suicide bomber. In order to keep her son's memory alive, she started a program called Taylors Heroes. It's a program pairing kids with trainers so they can become healthier at an earlier age.

Leslie Miller said, "I would never want to watch children struggle with the things that my son struggled with, in terms of self esteem."

In the beginning, Kevin did not have the skills to play basketball, but he's halfway through the free, three-month program. He gets a personal trainer and a private basketball coach, his weight is down, his ball handle skills are up.

Kevin said, "I wasn't too good. I couldn't dribble two hands, but now I can do it for a minute straight and before it was three seconds and it was out of control."

With Taylor's Heroes, kids get healthy, and Leslie gets her son's legacy.

She said, "It allows me to keep Taylor alive in the most positive way possible, and my dream is the thousands of people I hope we will be helping, that they will know about Taylor and who wouldn't otherwise. It's my chance to give him that legacy."

taylorsheroes.org

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