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Grandparents inspire Bird runner Tyler Harris to change the world

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- You'll find L. C. Bird High School senior Tyler Harris running on most days.

The cross-country athlete runs for love of the sport. But he also runs for the love of family.

"It all started back in the 10th grade with the Change the World Project," he said. "The goal was to make a positive impact in the community."

To honor a class assignment, Tyler started a 5-k fundraiser.

Tyler decided to also honor his family.

"My grandma passed away because of leukemia.  And my grandpa passed away because of liver cancer," he said.

Tyler's grandparents

With hard work and fellow students as volunteers, Tyler's first 5k raised over $2,000.

With that success, he held the race again the next year and raised over $5,000.

2016 fundraiser

2017 fundraiser

"I decided to benefit VCU Massey Cancer Center because it's local, they do cutting edge research, and I know that the money I donate goes directly to cancer research," he said.

The school principal, Dr. Laura Hebert, knows Tyler's grandparents would be proud of him.

"He's just taken the idea of changing the world to a whole new level," Dr. Hebert said. "Most kids stop after their first project, but he's made it a way of life.  He's made it a commitment."

Tyler plans to keep running.

For family.

For everyone.

"People fight and fight," Tyler said. “Hopefully we can all get in that fight to find a cure; to help raise funds for cancer research."

You can register for Tyler's 2018 5k or learn how to help him by clicking here.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesdays on CBS 6.