Nina Greene, a Tuscarora community activist and athlete, is fighting back from a brain aneurysm that struck her in August.
A benefit on her behalf will be held from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Tuscarora Elementary School, 2015 Mount Hope Road, on the Tuscarora Reservation.
A member of the Turtle clan, Greene is a caseworker with Community Health Care Workers, based at the Tuscarora school.
She was walking into evening classes at Niagara County Community College during the summer when she was stricken. She was taken to Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston and transferred to Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo for emergency brain surgery.
The 49-year-old woman has had several surgeries since and is currently in a rehabilitation center in Williamsville.
"We are praying for a full recovery," said her husband, Orville. "She still can't speak, but there are days when she squeezes your hand and smiles."
The Greenes have four children, Keeya, 28; Randy, 27; Kehala, 23; and Dakota, 18, and six grandchildren.
All the children live on the reservation, except Keeya, who lives in Niagara Falls. Nina Greene's mother, H. Diane Fuller, also lives on the reservation.
Greene has dedicated her life to her family and to helping children and others through Iroquois social dancing. She has taught native dancing at Tuscarora Elementary School for the past 12 years.
Every Christmas, she has volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society to deliver toys and food to needy families throughout the Niagara region.
Athletically, she has played and coached basketball, softball, lacrosse, bowling and running. She played lacrosse in the Iroquois Nationals and always took part in the Tuscarora Field Day 10K run. She ran in the last event in July, two weeks before she became ill.
Orville Greene, who works at Dupont in Niagara Falls, also is a prominent community worker and athlete. He is a former player and now coach of the Tuscarora basketball team, which competes with other Indian nations in the region.
Both husband and wife have coached Tuscarora athletic teams for the North American Indigenous Games for the past four years. The next games will be held in British Columbia in the summer.
Other members of the Tuscarora Indian Nation praised Nina Greene's willingness to help others.
"She was always asking, 'What can I do for you?' " said Rene Rickard, a family friend and one of the coordinators of the benefit.
The benefit -- to help defray medical and hospital expenses -- will include a spaghetti dinner at 4 p.m., Iroquois social dancing at 7 p.m. and several raffles. Renowned Native American singer Pura Fe will perform. Tickets are $10.