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'Just go get it done': Billings cancer survivor urges women to get mammograms

Posted at 8:23 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 16:32:35-04

Julie Grebe is driven. The self-employed, agricultural sales rep loves her job, her family, and life. So much so, she doesn’t stop.

“I like to win, plain and simple. That self-drive is really a lot of what pushes me in my business and my life," she said.

Billings woman recounts cancer fight

When Grebe got her first mammogram at the age of 50, it’s that self-drive that helped her deal with the outcome. She was diagnosed with invasive, ductile, carcinoma- an aggressive, fast-growing cancer. Pointing to her upper right breast, she said, “I had a golf ball and a second tumor in the lymph node."

Impressed with a quick diagnosis at the St. Vincent Healthcare Breast Center and the continued care at the Frontier Cancer Center, Grebe underwent six big rounds of chemo, 30 radiation treatments and a year of treatments with the drug Herceptin. She lost hair, got to wear a lot of great hats and is now cancer free.

"I was never afraid. I just knew this was something I had to deal with," she said.

One in eight women will get breast cancer, and health research shows that the most lives are saved from breast cancer when women get screened every year, starting at age 40.

Not everyone takes on cancer like Grebe, but everyone needs support.

“Reach out and find friends, family members, and advocates. There are people out there if you need emotional support," Grebe says.

"I grew up on a farm and we were a team as a family. We just worked as a family, worked together."

Grebe grew up in Custer, 60 miles northeast of Billings. Her life consisting of family, farming, 4-H, and FFA. Contests and competition that have carried through her life. “I like to win plain and simple. That self-drive is really a lot of what pushes me in my business and my life," she said.

Most importantly, for anyone putting off their mammogram, this driven Yellowstone County farm girl has a message.

"For crying out loud, just go get it done. Go get checked every year and do your self-exams.”

One dollar from each ticket sold at Friday night's Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night at the NILE Rodeo at MetraPark goes to the Eva Project at St. Vincent Healthcare. The Eva Project provides free mammograms to women over age 40 who are uninsured or under-insured.