MINOT, N.D. - Faith and trust have been key for the Artz family since losing their son Nathan to cancer two and a half years ago.
The past two and a half years have been hard for the Artz family.
"He was my best friend, and I’m still very close to him in a different way as close as I could be to him now," said Eric Artz, Nathan’s brother.
But in the midst of the struggle, the family has grown stronger.
"His motto through his struggle was always have faith and trust. And, he say to always have faith and trust so whenever I see a picture of him, I’d always think faith and trust," said Eric Artz.
The Artz family first held a blood drive in Nathan's honor, fulfilling his effort to earn his Eagle Scout Award.
"We planned to do it once, I did not plan to make it an annual event when this started, but it was such overwhelming support,” said Brenda Artz, Nathan’s mother.
And, it is a way to keep his spirit alive; a spirit of not allowing what you are going through to keep you from helping others.
"It was never about him or even how bad he was feeling, it was always about how we can offer this pain up for the sake of other people,” said Eric.
Nathan kept a journal while he was in the hospital, which only added to how selfless he was.
“He says, 'yesterday, I got many gifts of love and courage,' and it was a blood transfusion he was talking about," said Brenda.
"No matter how sick he was when he came home from chemo, radiation or surgeries, he'd always find me and tell me that he was home and that he was OK," said Eric.
The Artz family says Nathan's memory will live on, not only through the blood drives but also through the stories about a young energetic boy.
"He always liked orange and it was a good thing because when we were in public...I would always have him in orange trunks or orange clothes because then I could keep track of him easier," said Brenda.
And through it all, he never lost his smile.
The blood drive will be held this Thursday at Little Flower Catholic Church from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you'd like to make an appointment you can call (701)-263-7531.