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Women in Western New York face life head-on, with a practical courage developed through good times and tough ones all the ups and downs that fate sends us. For our Women's Voices column, we would like to hear from you about experiences that you found life-changing, those times that bring a clarity to who we are and who we want to be.

Send your essay (up to 700 words) to voices@buffnews.com and include your name, email and daytime phone number. The columns are published on Saturdays, with a photo of the author. Submissions must be by e-mail. We will not publish anything that seems promotional or from anyone we cannot reach.