It’s like jumping off a high dive, 10-year-old Caden Shrauger said.

Each year, Caden’s family hosts a blood drive, and he said when people donate blood once, they’re likely to do it again. Caden had the same feeling about the diving board at Bozeman’s trampoline park when he realized it wasn’t so scary.

Caden is a seven-year cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma at 3 and received 35 blood transfusions over four years. Friends hosted the first blood drive in Caden’s honor when he started treatment.

The Shrauger family has continued the tradition for the past seven years, and the eighth annual Get Poked for Caden Blood Drive will be June 26 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Commons.

The drive falls four days before Caden’s 11th birthday. To celebrate, the eleventh donor will get a special prize.

“We try to make it the most fun blood drive you’ve ever been to,” Pam Shrauger, Caden’s mom, said.

The timing of the drive also lines up well with the Fourth of July, Pam said. When people go on vacation during the summer, fewer blood donations are made. However, it’s often a time when demand for blood spikes due to an increased number of traumas.

Pam said the local blood bank has a low supply right now.

Caden’s blood drive general collects between 70 and 100 units of blood each year. It used to be held at a fire station, but the family decided to move it to The Commons off of Love Lane to accommodate more donors.

The whole process of donating blood — filling out paperwork, iron level tests and the blood draw — takes about an hour.

Donors can speed up the process by registering online at bloodhero.com. Donors are asked to stay for 15 minutes afterward in case they feel light-headed. The drive will be fully stocked with snacks and beverages.

The nonprofit Vitalant runs Get Poked For Caden and is the exclusive blood provider to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

Caden received cancer treatment in Seattle, and still has annual appointments there. However, those appointments are becoming less frequent. Caden enjoys flag football and playing drums. He’ll spend much of the summer with his family on their boat at Ennis Lake.

More information can be found on Facebook at Get Poked for Caden 2019.

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