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MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The family of a Minot teen who died of cancer earlier this year held a blood drive on Friday to complete in his honor an Eagle Scout project he had planned.
Nathan Artz, 17, was planning the blood drive in February when he died after fighting a battle with cancer for more than two years, the Minot Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1LpcCHU ).
More than 80 people walked through the doors of St. Therese Church of the Little Flower on Friday to donate blood in honor of the boy who often thought of others.
Brenda Artz says her son was 14 when the cancer started and he had to begin chemo five days at a time.
"But he never complained," she said. "The nurses would see him get on his knees beside the hospital bed and pray for others, not himself. There was another little girl that was sick, and they didn't see him get off of his knees until she was better."
Because of his treatment, Nathan Artz received many blood donations from others. His mother said he never knew the names of the donors, but he prayed for them.
The Artz family was told to expect 20 to 30 people to show up for the blood drive, but the crowds far exceeded that estimate and some people had to be turned away.
People filled the waiting area chairs lined up along the wall and groups stood throughout the room. Many shared stories about Nathan.
Brady Halvorson, 16, said he came to the blood drive to support Nathan and all that he strived for. He said Nathan was a grade above him, but he was a nice kid and he thought showing up was a good thing to do.
Brenda Artz said the turnout was amazing, and she knew her son would be happy. He would want to thank everyone because this was his project, not theirs, she said.
She hopes to continue the blood drive next year and beyond.
Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com
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