APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - An Apple Valley teen battling cancer is doing his best to brighten up the days in the hospital for patients like him.
15-year-old high school freshmen Trent Spangler has spent most of his life as a human pin cushion after he was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just a year old.
"A lot of band-aids, they aren't real band-aids. It's cotton and tape all around my arm," said Spangler.
It came back when he was seven and he beat it again. Now he has a brain tumor.
So when he needed to come up with a community service project to become an Eagle Scout, he thought a drive to collect fun and colorful bandages for young patients at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota would help cheer up its young patients.
"The moment he gets to pick stuff out at the hospital, he stops thinking about the needle. Now he gets to think about something else. That part's over. So it works pretty good, " said his dad, Steve Spangler.
So far, Trent has collected over a thousand latex-free band-aids from Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, to Minions and Sesame Street to Carebears and even Tonka Trucks.
His fellow troop members are also lending a hand, fanning out in neighborhoods across Apple Valley to leave flyers and plastic bags, which people can fill with donated band aids and leave on their door knobs. The scouts will pick them up on Saturday. Donated bandages have to be latex-free and be in a new, unopened box.
Spangler knows little strips of plastic won't erase the pain of getting shots completely, but if they can help put a smile on a young patients face, they'll be a badge of honor for him.
"That kids have a more fun time at the hospital. That's kind of what I want them to have, " said Spangler.
There will be a donation day held on Saturday June 4 at 7310 142nd St W in Apple Valley from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.