An inspirational evening at Mirbeau

However, even with her children's help, the foundation is able to help others with the community's generosity.

"I can't do it without you," Baldwin said to the packed room. "You are the ones crusading with me."

Since her treatment for cancer, Baldwin has also had to undergo triple-bypass surgery, she's suffered a stroke, will soon be receiving a new hip and, as a diabetes patient, has contracted infections with every surgery she's needed.

Baldwin's story wasn't one for receiving pity, though. Rather, at the age of 79, she showed each of the women in attendance that strong women persevere.

Following Baldwin's heroic stories, Ponticello spoke of her own experience with breast cancer. Though she has not had the disease herself, at the age of 39, her grandmother, Nana, was diagnosed. She would have been 94 the day of the event.

Holding up a small ceramic statue, Ponticello talked about her grandmother's faith and how every day she would pray in front of the small figurine that doubles as a planter for flowers.

Nana gave Ponticello some "sage advice," she said. "Sometimes in life, Laura, you have to stand in the dirt before you can plant new flowers."

In turn, the event allowed Ponticello to ask two women to join the group and give advice to others on dealing with the daily struggles of life, though not necessarily related to breast cancer.

Motivational humorist and Syracuse resident Yvonne Conte talked about having humor, laughter and joy in your life.

"Pain is inevitable. It's the suffering that's optional," she said.

As a group exercise, Conte had each of the women in the room turn to the woman sitting beside them and say, "I'm so glad I'm not you," which brought about bouts of laughter.

"The good Lord only gives us exactly what we can handle," Conte said.

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