Terri Healy Frey believes that education is essential for young people.
Her three children all graduated from Montana State University-Northern. Most of her relatives also have Northern diplomas. In her job as the Native American adviser at Havre Middle School, she always encouraged students to get good grades so they could go to college.
Then, she said, she felt she should follow her own advice.
She enjoyed her time as a certified nursing assistant at Northern Montana Care Center and decided a nursing career was good for her. She obtained her two-year degree from Aaniiih Nakoda College and then planned to follow her family tradition and attend Northern.
That was before she suffered a serious health blow.
First, doctors told her she had stage one breast cancer, but the diagnosis grew more serious as time went on. She is now undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Benefis Medical Center in Great Falls, and doctors tell her she will probably have to continue treatments for a year.
Friends and family have been helpful in providing moral support, she said. Now they want to help out financially as well.
Friday at 4 p.m., they will hold an Indian taco sale and benefit at the Havre Eagles Club to help raise funds for her continuing treatments.
There will be a silent auction, and businesses have already donated items, said her sister, Elaine Healy, who has organized many benefits over the years and is now doing thhis one for her sister.
She said she has been inspired by her sister’s brave fight against the disease.
“It’s been tough,” Terri said. “There have been a lot of challenges. It tests your endurance.”
But she said she is willing to fight because she has so much to live for.
“I want to be there for my grandchildren,” she said.
Her oldest daughter, and her three children, live in Alaska but her other two children, Bryar and Christina live on the Hi-Line.
Christina’s son, Terri said, is the light of Terri’s life.
“I bought him a native drum for his first birthday,” she said, smiling. “He loves music, and I’d love to have him become a musician.”
She loves her grandchildren, she said, just as she has loved so many other young people she has come across during her life.
“We should invest in our children, because that’s an investment in the future.”
• The benefit for Terri Healy Frey will be 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Havre Eagles Club.
• There will be Indian tacos and a silent auction.
• People wishing to donate items for the silent auction should call Elaine at 390-5376.