Nathan Artz blood drive enters fifth year with support from Teddy Roosevelt

MINOT, N.D. - The family of the Nathan Artz did their part Thursday to continue to honor his memory by holding a blood drive in his name.

And this year, they got a little help from a former president. None other than Teddy Roosevelt gave blood at Thursday’s drive.

It's Joe Wiegand, who you know as President Roosevelt at the Medora Musical.

Nathan began organizing the drive before losing a battle with a rare form of cancer in 2014 at age 17. His family picked up the torch and held the drive in 2015, and it’s now in its fifth year.

Wiegand found out about the drive since Nathan's brother Austin performs in the musical. He said he's proud to be able to help the Artz family continue Nathan's mission.

“We all who are able ought to give blood on a regular basis so that these people that need the blood have it quickly and efficiently, and so I'm just glad to do what I can, with what I have, where I am, and to do so with the Artz family,” said Wiegand.

Your News Leader spoke with Nathan's family who says they appreciate everyone who helps them put on the drive.

“I see now not only the donors coming to volunteer, but now I see people coming to also promote the blood drive, and the volunteerism is really, really heartfelt,” said Brenda Artz, Nathan’s mom.

“When my brother Nathan had cancer, he received many, many transfusions, and he was very, very grateful to all the donors who literally saved his life over, and over, and over again,” said Austin.

Vitalant helped organize Thursday’s blood drive at St. Therese the Church of the Little Flower. They said they collected 120 products, surpassing their goal.