Charity Trumps Politics in Baldwin House
"We are offering up the reality show rights, we're thinking about Side Car Carol as the title." Carol Baldwin is also a survivor, having been diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago just before Stephen's wedding to his wife Kennya. Carol kept her serious condition her secret, waiting until after the milestone family celebration had passed before undergoing a double- mastectomy.
"She kept it under her hat for some time. She didn't want to put a damper on the festivities," says Baldwin. "She was very bold and very courageous."
Even fully recovered from the disease, Carol also kept her fundraising efforts low-key when she first started her foundation.
"At some point there was some announcement on Rosie O'Donnell that Carol Baldwin is going to be appearing for her breast cancer fund," Stephen recalls. "All the brother's publicists called and asked, did you know your mother is going to be on Rosie O'Donnell? The rest of us were like, 'Boy we better call mom and see if we can help.'"
Now all four famous brothers place tremendous energy into the foundation, splitting up their duties for the full Baldwin brother experience -- Alec and Billy are hands on in the Long Island, NY chapter. Stephen and Daniel work primarily with the Syracuse location.
The family's overall message beyond fundraising for a cure -- get tested. It's an effective message not just for breast cancer, but all cancers. "I'm 43 and I'm getting my prostate checked," says Stephen.
"It's not a fun conversation, nor is it a fun test. But it is a reality." Well at least it's conversation the politically active -- and often politically opposed -- Baldwin family can have over dinner.
"As long as little conservative Stevie doesn't say anything too contradictory in the media, then everything's usually good at these dinners," says Stephen. "Then it's just pass the salt and let's have a good time."
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