"She said, 'If anyone can beat this, it's you,'" Tom said quoting her doctor. "If it weren't for that statement, Positively Pink Packages wouldn't be here."
To date, she has put together, with the aid of volunteers, at least 5,000 care packages for breast cancer survivors in Onondaga County.
While "pink" is in the name, Tom has also begun working on duffle bag packages for men who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
As Positively Pink Packages grows steadily, Tom said it was never her intention to start a non-profit. But she has no regrets.
"It really and truly has become my passion," she said.
The event on Oct. 17 will help raise the money to achieve one of Tom's biggest goals possible -- a resource guide filled with doctor's names, support groups, programs, where to find wigs, 24-hour hotline numbers, books, Web sites and so much more -- especially hope -- for the women and men who receive the packages. This is just one of several events Laura's List: Books for Women has sponsored to benefit Positively Pink Packages.
"Somehow God hear me," Tom said. "Laura came into my life when I needed her to."
She had taken on so much in such a short period of time, Tom wasn't sure how she'd make it all work. But Ponticello heard about the non-profit and called Tom up offering help, as she has with many other non-profit organizations.
The first event featuring Positively Pink Packages was An Evening with Thom Filicia at Anyela's Vineyard in Skaneateles last spring. Being the beneficiary of such good will, Tom is working closer to her resource guide goal.
"Right now when you go to your doctor's office and get diagnosed, they don't have an updated resource guide," Tom said, adding thatonce the guide is completed it will be her proudest achievement alongside the actual bags she designed.