GRANDVILLE, Mich. -- It's been 18 months since Ryan Fischer died in his sleep from heart complications, but his life and legacy are still inspiring people long after his death.
A 15-year-old girl named Sophie Kaminski is raising thousands of dollars for the Ryan Fischer Legacy Scholarship while getting ready to run a half marathon.
"Just like do the best thing for everybody and doing the right thing," said Kaminski. "It means a lot to me, so I'm doing what I can."
Kaminski, a sophomore cross country runner at Grandville High School, is preparing to tackle the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland in California on her birthday.
Sophie's father, Bob Kaminski, said he's proud of the maturity his daughter is showing at such a young age. "With this race, there was an opportunity to do some fundraising for whatever the cause the runner wanted to have," said Kaminski.
Instead of birthday presents, Sophie is asking people to donate to the GoFundMe page she set up to raise money for the Ryan Fischer Legacy Scholarship.
Sophie has already raised more than $3,000, and she's donating every penny to the fund.
Fischer passed away in his sleep back in March 2014 due to complications from an enlarged heart, a condition his parents, Roni and Scott Fischer, said they were completely unaware of.
"We had no idea," said Roni Fischer. "He'd been accepted to West Point and been through many rigorous medical examinations, and never anything at all. No indications what so ever, no symptoms."
Friends and family say Fischer was a promising three-sport athlete, team captain and born leader. Fischer also had a love for his country and a firm foundation in his faith.
"He prayed, and he was very active at church," said Roni. "God was by far the most important thing in his life. When he left us here and went to heaven, I think the entire Grandville community, because he was fairly well-known, it was such a devastating loss. It’s 18 months later, and we have this young lady that’s still so inspired by him. And she could still be inspired by many things in our culture, but she chose Ryan."
Scott Fischer said the coolest part is that Sophie and Ryan never even met, yet she's supporting a cause greater than herself.
Sophie is also preparing to run the 5K at the state cross country meet this Saturday. Her mother says she has big dreams and wants to run cross country at the University of Notre Dame.